It takes a brave man to programme a single performance of Berg’s Wozzeck on a damp Thursday evening in Glasgow. But Donald Runnicles is such a man. In his five years at the helm of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra he has proved adept at making the implausible possible, and turning the ordinary into something extraordinary. Berg’s extraordinary orchestration, under Runnicles, was in vivid Technicolor. Menace and frivolity churn restlessly beneath the surface of the tavern music as Marie (Elena Zhidkova) and the Drum Major (Thomas Blondelle) dance under the fatally jealous eye of Wozzeck (Thomas J Mayer replacing Roman Trekel at short notice).
Christopher Lambton; October 24, 2014