Last night, OC Götterfunken on with la Verdi at its annual Concerto di Capodanno to pre-ring in the New Year, Oppan Beethoven style. <-- topical humor -- don't shoot the messenger (unless the message said to shoot the messenger then kindly give us a five-second gentlemen's agreement head start.)
Since 1999, Milan's young, roguish la Verdi orchestra, based in bohemian neighborhood Navigli's Auditorium di Milano, has been singing its bloated-from-Xmas a$$ off with Beethoven's fetish-inducing Ninth symphony.
What better message to megaphone into the New Year than Schiller's Ode An Die Freude poem of unity and brotherhood? Really, a perfectly-formed narrative before the final O Freunde kiss of death.
To bow 2013, la Verdi's MD Zhang Xian gave us a-buck-twenty-five of sterling tempi, grave tension and four great soloists, including another American girl living in Milan, soprano Laura Aikin, and Austrian bass Thomas Tatzl who probably declines invitations from Abercrombie's street team recruiters every time he treads the pavement. Yeah, we crushing. Haters fly away. Read more next week when OC reviews the performance officially for her Grazia.it column -- and in case you missed it, here's her La prima della Scala Wagner Lohengrin.
OC's rhapsodizes endlessly on Wilhelm Furtwängler's ethereal August 22, 1954 Lucerne Beethoven's Ninth with the Philharmonia and Schwarzkopf, Cavelti, Häfliger and Edelmann for good reason -- it's a chillingly sober reconciliation of a man who understood he was living on borrowed time and was grappling with his own mortality ("This time I had one foot in the other world," he had told his wife) -- so we've cued it up on the 'tubes -- all Gioia-scintilla-divina-e-bella-nata-nell'aura-elisia of it. Enjoy Brothers!