Academy of St Thomas, Norwich

Haydn's First Symphony, brief but always elegant, provided an attractive overture to this fine concert at St Andrew's Hall, Norwich.

By CHRISTOPHER SMITH

Haydn's First Symphony, brief but always elegant, provided an attractive overture to this fine concert at St Andrew's Hall, Norwich.

The Academy of St Thomas was led by Paul Clarke and conducted by Christopher Adey, with his usual concern for every expressive detail – although insistence on a quieter second movement would have added a variety.

Lorraine McAslam was the soloist in Prokovief's Second Violin Concerto. She made most impact in the rather melancholy theme at the start of the work and again in the Andante Assai.

More assertiveness might have brought out the direction of the music at other times, but the finale, with trumpet rising and side-drum rattling, was satisfying robust and vigorous.

The dramatic theme was splendidly maintained in Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

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The horns were as bold as only brass can be; the cellos were elegant as well as strong; and everywhere, commitment in tone was matched with artistry in phrasing.

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