Budapest Symphony Orchestra

MICHAEL DRAKE The Norwich audience would have had them stay well into the night but with a schedule of nightly concerts in a three-week period, two encores had to suffice in last evening's Bernard Matthews-sponsored concert – the presto becoming prestissimo in the finale of the Dohnanyi symphony and the lush indulgence of the Nutcracker Suite.

MICHAEL DRAKE

The Norwich audience would have had them stay well into the night but with a schedule of nightly concerts in a three-week period (including, shortly at Bury St Edmunds) two encores had to suffice in last evening's Bernard Matthews-sponsored concert – the presto becoming prestissimo in the finale of the Dohnanyi symphony and the lush indulgence of the Nutcracker Suite.

Conducted, without scores, energetically and expansively by Tamas Vasary, the orchestra responded immediately in Sibelius' Symphony No 2 in D major and although not over-populated, warm string tone ensued, allied to declamatory brass.

In fact the brass section was in the limelight all evening at StAndrew's Hall.

And how its members enjoyed it when they added to the all-round sumptuous sounds produced in the Finale. Sibelius is an obviously patriotic composer but read into the symphony what you will, this was scenic music from a leading orchestra.

Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra completed a well-matched programme, though with more emphasis on solo and instrumental group work and here the strings added more lustre to their tone in the Introduction.

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The second movement may be "just for fun" but the BSO emphasised this as a precursor to adding a dark and sombre quality to the Elegy. Then, attacking the Finale with some gusto as melodies were sprayed across the movement involving all sections, there was musical enthusiasm for songs from their motherland in a characterful and rhythmically sharp and exciting climax.

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