Nicola Benedetti

MICHAEL DRAKE Snape Maltings

MICHAEL DRAKE

> 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.


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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.

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