Der Freischütz (in concert) - LSO / Davis - Barbican Hall, 19 & 21 April 2012
As a music drama, Der Freischütz is problematical, inherently fractured by the interpolated speech sections. In the theatre, the visual element provides some compensatory continuity - it's this basic structural issue as much as the content of the story that encourages contemporary directors to lard the work in Konzept. But in concert, it's almost inevitable that the talky bits come across as mere chat between numbers. The English language narration commissioned here to replace the original German dialogue only magnified that effect, breaking the spell with unfortunate regularity. And so, despite high musical values, these two performances failed to gather any real dramatic momentum.