Halle Orchestra

FRANK CLIFF Snape Maltings

FRANK CLIFF

Snape Maltings

Since Mark Elder's appointment as musical director, the orchestra has regained the high profile it last enjoyed under Barbirolli, as was made clear by Saturday's splendid concert.

The choice of two less familiar works by Shostakovich proved a shrewd one. The youthful ballet The Golden Age and the first symphony present a more light-hearted aspect of his music than much of what we are hearing in this his centenary year.

The Golden Age, specifically act 3 scene 1, is full of vivid orchestral colour and virtuosic writing. It was an electrifying performance, with superb playing especially from the percussion department.

In Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, tenor Timothy Robinson projected the dramatic qualities of the work though at times the voice hadn't quite the necessary power. Superb horn playing from Richard Watkin.

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Elder draws superbly precise playing from his orchestra with whom he has great rapport. The Halle's future looks good.

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