Mendelssohn Elijah 2011
“...McCreesh and the Gabrielis prove the power of period practice...”The Times
“...Fielding a Mahlerian sized orchestra full of period touches ... Paul McCreesh went all-out for the full Victorian monty in a hall (and a festival) which demanded nothing less...
...The wonder here was that so many voices could so cleanly articulate the exuberance of Mendelssohn’s choral writing ... not just rousing in the best sense of the word but airy – a seeming contradiction of lightness and heft held in perfect accord...”The Independent
“...They made a splendid and highly-coloured din ... the clattering timps and rasping ‘natural’ brass brought a frisson of terror...”The Daily Telegraph
“...Orchestrally this BBC Proms performance was wonderful. Instruments like serpents, originally used in warfare to scare the enemy – baroque fantasy put to practical use. Slide trumpets which still sound natural and relatively unpitched. Goatskin timpani. The Royal Albert Hall Organ restricted to period stops and pipes. Two ophicleides augment the brass, and a magnificent contrabass ophicleide...
...Exceptionally precise singing ... perfect co-ordination, but even better, great enthusiasm and commitment...”Opera Today
“...McCreesh was aided by what was easily the most impressive, sensitive and strapping choral craft of the Prom season...”The Arts Desk
“...No one would quibble with the high aims of this performance, or help but marvel at its gargantuan forces ... Visually as well as sonically, this was a mammoth spectacle...”The Guardian
“...McCreesh had the measure both of the work and of his huge forces. He might have been conducting a madrigal, so extraordinary was his attention to detail; moreover, his interpretation was often revelatory ... As a sonic spectacular, this was an evening rich in contrasts...”The Classical Source
“...some of the finest choral singing of this Proms season...”The New Statesman
“...The most impressive aspect of the two-hour performance was, for me, the transparency, the downright honeyed eloquence of this massed choral singing – intelligible words in sumptuous floating layers ... Nearly as impressive was the playing, meticulously researched by McCreesh...”The Sunday Times
“I doubt even the Victorians would have enjoyed Mendelssohn's crowd-pleaser in a performance of such fabulous excess. A truly amazing ad-hoc choir stole everyone's thunder – everyone's except Elijah's, that is, transported to Albert Hall heaven in his fiery chariot.”The Independent’s Cultural Pick of the Year