Nicola Benedetti

MICHAEL DRAKE Snape Maltings


> Snape Maltings

I am not aware of her academic results but Nicola Benedetti surely has “A star” potential as a violinist have already made an indelible mark as BBC Young Musician of the Year. But first, the European Union Chamber Orchestra gave a warm introduction in Peter Warlock's Capriol Suite with emphasis on rhythm and lilting contrasts in this August Prom.

Enter Miss Benedetti for Mozart's Violin Concerto No 5 written when the composer was barely a year older than the soloist. Poise and presence were immediate as the opening languid bars were followed by youthful verve albeit a tendency to rush some passages, culminating in an impressive cadenza - in fact all three in this work were in that category. A thoughtful Adagio from both soloist and orchestra was the preface to a free-flowing finale of no little authority and assurance. Nicola Benedetti's first visit to the Maltings gained top marks.

The EUCO continued in their opening vein and with intensity in Liszt's Prayer to guardian angels and then Haydn's Symphony No 49 in F minor opened rich in tonal variety as the excellent ensemble brought powerful precision and stately grandeur before the finale which unison phrases, wind and brass were outstanding. And a nice gesture for an encore, showpieceing Nicola Plecka's short piece for string - a sort of Czech lark ascending and evocative of that country.