Clio Gould and RAM soloists, Norwich

CHRISTOPHER SMITH Strong emotions were the theme of this concert, given by the violinist Clio Gould with the Royal Academy of Music soloists, a string orchestra that was admirable in unanimous support and readiness of response.

CHRISTOPHER SMITH

Strong emotions were the theme of this concert, given by the violinist Clio Gould with the Royal Academy of Music soloists, a string orchestra that was admirable in unanimous support and readiness of response.

The group was, though, perhaps a little too large for quite an intimate venue such as the Assembly House.

The programme opened with Romanian Dances. These were strongly characterised and played with the verve that Bartok calls for. Moments of reflection soon gave way to echoes of folk music, and the fast-paced conclusion was an evocation of peasant festivities as we like to picture them.

The image was quite different in Tchaikovsky's Andante Cantabile. Performed with style and sensitivity, the old favourite displayed all its Palm Court elegance and charm with its moving melody artfully drawn out and repeated with affection for maximum impact.

Another throbbing opening and yet more obvious allusions to the folk heritage prompted the thought that including another work by Bartok, his Divertimento, might not be very clever programming. But any reservations were soon swept away by the sheer inventiveness of the music and the variations in tone that the instrumentalists found to express it. Even if the pizzicato came a bit too pat, the final movement was particularly exhilarating in its sinewy developments.

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