30 BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE Adám Fischer Deep emotions: Adám Fischer conducts Mahler Mahler Symphony No. 1 Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra/ Adám Fischer Avi AVI8553390 When Adám Fischer started to perform Mahler with the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra, he had no idea their symphony cycle would become one of the most exciting and individual around – with five-star reviews and now the Orchestral Award for the First Symphony. ‘The musicians are very happy about the award,’ says the ★ungarian conductor. Yet it was for Orchestral Award Handel Acis and Galatea Trumping Acis: Early Opera Company’s Christian Curnyn Lucy Crowe, Rowan Pierce, Allan Clayton, Benjamin ★ulett, Jeremy Budd, Neal Davies; Early Opera Company/curnyn Chaconne CHSA 0404 As conductor, you assembled an exceptional cast for this recording… That’s the thing about recording: you can bring together the people that you really want. They’re all people that I’d worked with before and knew. You can’t get better than Lucy Crowe and Allan Clayton as the two protagonists, I’ve known Ben Hulett for a long time – he sang on the Alceste recording which won an award a few years ago – and I was working with Neal Davies at ENO at the same time. They’re all experts in their field and absolute wordsmiths. The English libretto really does stand out; was that important to you? Absolutely. Something we did concentrate on was the purity of the text. But, when you’ve got people like Lucy, Allan, Ben and Neal, it’s just the way that they naturally sing. It’s amazing, though, when you consider Handel was a foreigner and this was very early on in his trip to England. He really responded well to the libretto, especially the pastoral language; a lot of the work he was doing in Italy before he came to England was based on pastoral text in Italian. So, he had a sort of a grounding in setting pastoral texts and music together. He never really did it better than in Acis, though. The recording was partly crowdfunded. Is this the shape of things to come? I think so. It’s the first time we did it and I was a little bit reticent at the beginning. It grew out of the Early Opera Company’s chairman turning 70 – he very sweetly asked his party guests not to buy him presents and suggested making a donation towards the recording instead. After that he said we should open it up to the public. We were incredibly lucky and broke our target. I think it is indicative of the way that recordings operate these days. When you want to record something, you can’t rely on the company totally; they’ve got lots of costs themselves in order to produce the discs and, as the people putting it on, you’ve got to bring something to the table. Opera Award Christian Curnyn
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