RPO Spring Concert
Marina Theatre, Lowestoft
The RPO was conducted most ably on Friday evening by Garry Walker. In Grieg's first Peer Gynt Suite, Morning Mood included delightful wind solos, Death of Åse brought shimmering strings with perfect ensemble, Anitra's Dance had a spring in its step, and the Hall of the Mountain King was suitably menacing, with a carefully judged crescendo and accelerando.
Robert Cohen was the soloist for the first Cello Concerto by Shostakovich. Perhaps a bold choice for a Lowestoft audience, as ever the theatre was packed and the work was a success judging by the warmth of applause at the end. In the spiky opening movement the soloist took the technical challenges in his stride in an impassioned and virile performance. The sumptuous slow movement enabled the musicians almost to wallow in the music's emotional depth. The cadenza, with its simple start, gains in complexity but seemed effortless as it progressed to the fiery finale and tumultuous conclusion.
The fifth Symphony by Sibelius received an impeccable performance, sonorous and emotionally charged. The end of the first movement was particularly vibrant. The final allegro had a sense of urgency, and a momentum that was sustained throughout. The stirring brass passages rose through the texture, leading to the all-powerful six triumphant concluding chords.