Norfolk Symphony Orchestra

ALISON CROOSE King's Lynn Corn Exchange

ALISON CROOSE

This was a concert of two halves which demonstrated the pleasures of clever programming. After a display of splendid young talent – pianist Sarah Beth Briggs – there was a risk that the audience might wonder: “How can they follow that?”

But then along comes Bartok, represented by his Concerto for Orchestra, and the delights of the first half could be savoured without spoiling the second.

Sarah Beth Briggs made her mark on classical music when, at the age of 11, she became the youngest finalist in the BBC Young Musician competition. She is now an established performer.

Brahms' Piano Concerto No 1 provided the vehicle for her impressive power and sensitive interpretation. As ever conductor James Stobart ensured the cohesion of soloist and orchestra.

This achieved, he admitted in his programme notes to falling for Bartok as a student.

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No wonder the orchestra delighted the audience with a stunning performance of the Concerto. It was challenging, amusing and beautiful – a real treat.

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