Ascent to the dizzy heights of Mahler

Norfolk Symphony Orchestra @ King's Lynn Corn Exchange

Norfolk Symphony Orchestra @ King's LynnCorn Exchange

By ALISON CROOSE

The orchestra has reached many memorable heights – but none more challenging than their ascent to the summit of Mahler's Fifth Symphony.

What an achievement it was, and at the end of the 75-minute epic the packed audience's warm and lengthy ovation was testimony to the success of the venture.

The monumental work put huge demands on the orchestra both technically and musically, stretching instruments and players to the limits. But, under the very capable direction of conductor James Stobart, the orchestra of nearly 100 musicians played with great verve and intensity.

All this drama should not be allowed to eclipse another special treat which formed the first half of the programme when Bulgarian Lora Dimitrova was the latest in an impressive line-up of soloists to appear with the NSO.

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She shone in a performance of Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto displaying great virtuosity in handling its intricate demands.