Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Marina Theatre, Lowestoft

> Marina Theatre, Lowestoft

Following four sellout concerts last year, the RPO is back for a second season at the Marina.

The RPO's programmes always consist of popular classics. The initial chords of Mozart's Magic Flute Overture were not quite unanimous, but this did not mar an otherwise positive performance.

In Finlandia the brass at once captured the mood of Sibelius's menacing opening chords, but the familiar tune later was somewhat rushed. Rather distracting was the audible snorting of conductor Mark Stephenson, accompanied by noisy leaps into the air. World-class orchestras do not need such melodramatic direction.

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Pianist Roger Owen was the soloist for the Schumann Concerto. His playing was crisp and precise or lyrical and serene as required, and from the exquisite start the whole concerto was a delight.

The only work after the interval was Elgar's Enigma Variations. At all times secure, this was full of dramatic contrasts. A highlight was Nimrod, where the conductor laid down the baton to use his hands to mould the music into beautiful shapes.

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