Review: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich

Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2017. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2017. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

The buzzing capacity audience in St Andrew's Hall fell silent as the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra filed onto the stage.

The anticipation was intense and from the very first note, right though to the last reverberation, this evening was sheer delight.

I have been privileged to attend many orchestral concerts in some of the grandest halls in the world, but this night in Norwich proved to be close to the best I have ever heard.

The sensitive mastery of the conductor, Karina Canellakis, skilfully directed the celebrated players of the orchestra, and controlled the whole magical atmosphere in that historic venue.

This proved to be an outstanding classical concert and my fellow music lovers seemed to be in agreement. We enjoyed close to two hours of musical bliss. The drama of the Chasseur Maudit, set a wonderful tone with both energy and precision but, above all, great empathy in the playing.

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The highlight of the evening was the Symphonic Dances composed by Rachmaninov in war-torn 1940 and which was his last composition – and a triumphant conclusion to the concert this proved to be.

Roger Haywood

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