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Review: The Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Theatre Royal, Norwich

PUBLISHED: 13:46 16 April 2018

BBC New Generation Artist pianist Pavel Kolesnikov performed Beethovens iconic 5th Piano Concerto 'The Emperor' with the CNSO. Picture: Norwich Theatre Royal

BBC New Generation Artist pianist Pavel Kolesnikov performed Beethovens iconic 5th Piano Concerto 'The Emperor' with the CNSO. Picture: Norwich Theatre Royal

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Frank Cliff enjoys an exuberant and polished performance by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.

The Czech National Symphony Orchestra, under English conductor Ben Palmer, performed works by Schubert, Beethoven and Dvorak at Norwich Theatre Royal.

There was both drama and beauty in Palmer’s reading of Schubert’s “Unfinished” symphony, excellently balanced, with nothing overdone.

The soloist, in a stunning performance of Beethoven’s “Emperor” concerto was the young prize-winning pianist Pavel Kolesnikov. Technically flawless, he captured all the dramatic power of the first movement, the poetry of the second, and the exuberance of the finale, which, together with Palmer’s committed accompanying, brought spontaneous cheers from the audience.

The rapport that Palmer has with the CNSO was evident in their performance of Dvorak’s 9th Symphony, which, while influenced by his sojourn in America, retains enough of his native Bohemia for this band to have it in their bones, as their splendid performance showed.

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