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There was something essentially festive about Filarmonica della Scala at EIF - Usher Hall / Herald Scotland

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THERE was something wonderfully and essentially festive about this Sunday afternoon choral concert under the baton of superstar conductor Riccardo Chailly at the end of EIF 2017.

We have certainly enjoyed a feast of Verdi singing this Festival, with Teatro Regio's Macbeth and Requiem followed by the Stabat Mater and Te Deum here. The contrast in performance terms between the opera chorus and Christopher Bell's Edinburgh Festival Chorus, surely singing at the best in their long history, was fascinating, and there seems little doubt that Chailly relished directing a choir precision-tooled in its command of incremental adjustments of volume. It is probably invidious to praise a particular part of that lovely, rounded sound, but the gentlemen of the tenors – and especially the firsts within that section – were especially impressive, required to sing quietly near the top of their range from the start. Here was intense concentration from all concerned, never at the price of musicality.

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