Review: Snape Proms; Trondheim Soloists/Brueggergosman, Snape Maltings, August 6

The Norwegian chamber ensemble, Trondheim Soloists, has, apparently, a reputation for innovative programming. Their Saturday Prom would seem to bare this out with two major works of the string repertoire juxtaposed with cabaret songs featuring the soprano, Measha Brueggergosman, though in practise it was a mix that wasn’t entirely satisfactory.

It would be too much to expect even a Norwegian ensemble to bring fresh insight to such a familiar piece as Greig’s Holberg Suite, but the small forces of the Trondheim plenty of rich sound, even if they exaggerated their pianissimos, in what was a thoroughly enjoyable performance.

The soprano, Measha Brueggergosman, is obviously an entertainer as well as a singer, and immediately creates a rapport with her audience. For much of the time, the four songs of Erik Satie lay in the low register of her voice, which has an attractive smokey quality, and while they may not be cabaret songs as such,they exude the right atmosphere, which Ms Brueggergoman projected successfully.

So far, so good, but things became somewhat unbalanced in the second half when, after an excellent performance by the Trondheim of a major work by Britten, his Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge,we heard the same composer’s Cabaret Songs, which,as the finale, seemed something of an anti-climax.

Then, after Ms Brueggergosman had returned to the platform and engaged the audience in a long and somewhat rambling chat before singing a negro spiritual, then returned again to sing Solveig’s song , it had become very much her show,and the Tronheim’s contribution almost a distant memory. But don’t take my word for it; the audience loved it.

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