Daniel Barenboim brought a luxuriously-cast Verdi Requiem to a sold-out Salle Pleyel in Paris on Sunday night - Barbara Frittoli, Sonia Ganassi, Jonas Kaufmann and Rene Pape were the featured soloists.
Sadly neither they nor the Orchestra of La Scala nor Barenboim himself (in random pull and tweak mode) lived up to expectations - indeed the only memorable performance came from the immaculately prepared La Scala chorus.
Rene Pape's pallid performance suggested, not for the first time, that a prairie oyster or two might have helped. More surprising was that a listless Jonas Kaufmann lost his way in the not exactly challenging score and missed an entrance. Luckily Barenboim was there to rescue him, flipping Kaufmann on to the right page whilst still conducting with the other hand. Another multitasking credit for the maestro.