Review: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The RPO were back in Lowestoft on Friday, with an eclectic mix of British classical favourites.
Under conductor Stephen Bell, A Celebration Overture by Nigel Hess set the tone. The Walk to the Paradise Garden by Delius followed, the pastoral mood continuing with a sublime performance of The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams, with orchestra leader Duncan Riddell as violin soloist. In a livelier mood William Walton's Spitfire Prelude and Fugue ended the first half, with crisp and precise brass playing balancing the lyrical style of strings and woodwind.
The strings alone gave a delightful rendition of the Allegretto from Palladio by Karl Jenkins. The concert concluded with a sublime performance of Elgar's 'Enigma' Variations. As ever, the players brought freshness and vitality to a work with which they must be so familiar.
All was over in well under two hours, and an encore would have been welcome.
The earliest date of composition was 1899. It would have been good to include Purcell or others from a previous century. Also, it was strange not to hear anything by Benjamin Britten in the town of his birth.