14 May 2024

Beethoven cycle – press reviews

The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique performs all of the Beethoven symphonies at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, and at the Philharmonie de Paris, in May 2024. The Monteverdi Choir joins the ORR for Beethoven’s Mass in C major and Symphony No. 9, with soloists Lucy Crowe (soprano), Alice Coote (mezzo soprano), Allan Clayton (tenor) and William Thomas (bass).

The Telegraph ★★★★
“A gloriously optimistic affair...In the First Symphony, there was beautiful elegance while in the Mass, pathos and anguish entered the picture. Like Gardiner, Sousa is keenly aware of the meaning of words of the Mass. He made sure the Monteverdi Choir – rich and full-blooded in sound as always – caught the pleading quality of “miserere nobis” (have mercy upon us), and they found an especially harsh sound for “Crucifixus etiam pro nobis” (and was crucified also for us). The orchestral players gilded these moments with their plaintive descending phrases. Sousa was fortunate to have in the front of the choir four soloists – Lucy Crowe, Alice Coote, Allan Clayton and bass William Thomas – who were as individually fine, and beautifully blended, as any quartet I can remember in recent years.”

The Arts Desk ★★★★★
Sousa and the ORR (supported in the Ninth by the Monteverdi Choir and a stellar quartet of soloists) delivered performances of radiant intensity and commitment, filling the relatively small space of the church with an electric crackle of excitement tempered by virtuosic swagger and – not least – infectious fun."