Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

MICHAEL DRAKE St Andrew's Hall, Norwich


St Andrew's Hall, Norwich

Whether science is artistic or even art scientific is perhaps a matter for debate by the audience for last night's 60th Year Anniversary Concert of this orchestra, dedicated to the BA Festival of Science.

Certainly mathematics plays a large part in science and music and after the opening wow factor of the fanfares used in the film 2001 - A Space Odyssey, the orchestra leader Cleo Gould produced surges of exciting sound waves in Borodin's Polotsvian Dances.

Into the future with a selection from Sir Arthur Bliss' Things to Come Suite, also film music, and here as always the RPO played with a passion even if HG Wells was a little late getting to the moon in his forecasting.

Slow in the stirring, Dukas' Sorcerer's Apprentice was potent in its musical chemistry and how the energetic Nicholas Cleobury enjoyed being the science master conductor.

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The main work was Holst's Planets Suite in which Mercury and Jupiter kept the decibel light permanently on but the orchestra showed they could be peaceful too with Venus and sometimes Saturn with mysticism added to Neptune's orbit by the ethereal voices of Keswick Hall Choir ladies from the Crypt.

It was a worldly experience to hear these exhilarating interpretations of both the world good and evil.