Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra

A colourful programme on Saturday evening at St Andrew's Hall, Norwich, reached its zenith in Mahler's 4th Symphony — the “symphony of heavenly life”.

A colourful programme on Saturday evening at St Andrew's Hall, Norwich, reached its zenith in Mahler's 4th Symphony — the “symphony of heavenly life”.

And some of the playing came close to that estate particularly in the tranquil Adagio in which cellos set a visionary and relaxed opening backed by sparkling colour from horns and woodwind.

Opening in a freewheeling mood and with a brilliant graphic episode following, the scene was set for the orchestra (leader, Benjamin Lowe) to lift themselves on high by the music.

A degree of surrealism purveyed the quaint, almost harlequinesque Scherzo and when soprano Juliet Booth joined them in the finale's settings of texts from Des Knaben Wunderhorn, she produced a vocal, youthful joy in telling fashion with Julian Webb's patient but firm conducting overseeing a memorable performance.

The opening of Faure's Pavane had not been so happy, taking a little while to settle into perfect tune, but they were very much at home in the French countryside of Canteloube and some songs of the Auvergne, with Juliet Booth coy and humorous.

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