Tuesday, February 05, 2013


M&G Concert at the Civic Theatre

Two phenomenal young talents in this month's M&G concert, which programmed a clutch of familiar masterpieces.
Tine Thing Helseth was the soloist in Haydn's trumpet concerto. At 25, she is much in demand internationally as well as in her native Norway. Her performance was impassioned and direct – her legato phrasing, attacking the notes from the middle, was impressive, as was the soulful cadenza. The Allegro finale, taken at a sprightly tempo, brought the best out of soloist and ensemble.
The conductor was 23 year old Duncan Ward, who already has a wealth of experience. He clearly enjoys making music, and his infectious enthusiasm, combined with remarkable interpretive skills and a fluent conducting style, made for a very enjoyable programme, beginning with the Fifth Symphony of the even more youthful Franz Schubert, directed with great panache from the effervescent opening to the dance-like Vivace finale.
More toe-tapping in the Bartok Romanian Folk Dances, played with enormous gusto and excellent solo work from the Sinfonia's leader Nic Fallowfield.
The evening ended with Mozart's last symphony, the Jupiter, swaggering through the opening Allegro, and with a nice steady footfall in the Andante Cantabile.
The next Civic Concert, in April, brings us another outstanding trumpeter, Crispian Steele-Perkins with the European Union Chamber Orchestra.

A very enjoyable concert, if a little on the safe side. The Bartok the only roughage, and nothing from the hundred years since then. We did have an introduction where both these musicians chatted engagingly, but nothing like the After Hours bonus concert they're playing in Nottingham, with pieces by James McMillian and Arvo Pärt ...

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