TONY COOPER Snape Maltings
Under their new principal guest conductor designate, Vladimir Jurowski, the LPO delivered an excellent concert, opening with an enchanting and well-paced performance of Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings.
It's a lush and welcoming work and the sounds of such a large orchestra as the LPO (celebrating its 75th anniversary) radiating round the Maltings was just exhilarating. Rich opening chords greeted the piece that gave way to a splendid performance particularly in the even-flowing valse movement where the violins lingered and squeezed every note.
Britten's Frank Bridge Variations showed that he was also a master in writing for strings in a very early work. It was an appropriate piece to end with, particularly as this year celebrates Aldeburgh Festival's 60th and Snape Maltings' 40th.
This fine set of variations received a tremendous performance and was written as a tribute to his beloved teacher whom he met at a Norwich Festival concert in the 1930s while he was conducting his own commission entitled The Sea. It set the young 23-year-old Britten on his way.
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The UK premiere of Lullaby for Hans by Mark-Antony Turnage provided some fine solo playing emanating from the leader. Jurowski brought all four leaders to their feet in a tumultuous and well-deserved curtain call.