Santtu-Matias Rouvali makes versatile debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

01 Feb 2020

Written by: Jenny Camilleri

Published in: Opera Today

… Ariadne, like Verdi’s overture, combines transparent lyricism with dramatic progression. Starting out with fragile flute figures, it swells to include the full complement of strings. When the whole range of the brass comes in with a driving motif, there is sinister menace. The piece constantly changes colour and texture, making use of the whole orchestra. Before all the sections unite for a final restrained crescendo, an ethereal violin solo rises, haloed by a harp. Although Verbey didn’t describe the work programmatically, it was easy to imagine the Cretan princess’s thread unwinding in the woodwinds and the rumbling monster charging in the horns. Ariadne is a highly gratifying swansong and the RCO gave it a lustrous world premiere. …