“Wall of sound” is hardly a term you’d usually associate with the buoyant, translucent playing of a 40-piece chamber orchestra. But it perfectly captures what visiting German conductor Clemens Schuldt achieved in his big, powerful, forcefully projected performances with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He made for a fascinating figure on the podium, dancing and swaying along to the music, at times simply letting the SCO players get on with it with just a few tiny, cursory gestures, only to explode into action at key moments. And his results – certainly in the closing Beethoven Symphony No. 4 – were quite simply thrilling.[...]
[Clemens Schuldt] ran a welcome shot of electricity through the symphonies that bookended the concert. The orchestra played Mozart’s Symphony No 34 with razor-sharp attack in the outer movements, and Haydn’s Symphony No 90 glowed from its buoyant first movement through to its false ending, Haydn’s most outrageous musical joke.
Schuldt has a lovely flowing approach to this music (Haydn…), which allows for some quite lush, extravagant phrasing while never denying the lessons learned from period performance.
[...] the orchestral brilliance of his performance was undeniable.
Clemens Schuldt […] got a grip on the orchestral shape so as to provide a triumphal recapitulation in the first movement, as well as a blissful string tone in the second.
Clemens Schuldt directed the SCO in a truly exceptional Stravinsky Pulcinella – crisp, driven, richly textured, and giving so many of the orchestra’s musicians the chance to shine as soloists.