A tale of two tenors as Méhul is celebrated by the OAE

Méhul et al: OAE/Cohen ****

St John’s Smith Square, 10th February 2017

Michael Spyres
© Belinda Lawley

Étienne-Nicolas Méhul’s music isn’t familiar to most concert-goers. The only work which I know is his First Symphony, the finale of which contains a motif so similar to the opening movement of Beethoven’s Fifth that Robert Schumann, hearing it in Leipzig in 1838, remarked upon the likeness. However, Méhul and Beethoven were composing their works at exactly the same time, so neither was filching from the other. Méhul died in 1817 and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, along with the enterprising Palazzetto Bru Zane, the Venetian foundation for promoting rare French music, used this bicentenary to showcase his music in a varied and entertaining programme.

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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