The Philharmonia Orchestra

MICHAEL DRAKE King's Lynn Festival event at King's Lynn Corn Exchange

MICHAEL DRAKE

From the first unison chords and the following horn melody, the orchestra produced some magnificent sounds as, conducted in lively fashion by Emmanuel Siffert, they opened with Weber's Overture and Der Freischutz, which is practically a symphonic movement all on its own.

The young Korean violinist So-Ok Kim then took centre stage in Brahm's violin concerto and from the first orchestral bars she was inside the music in anticipation.

Slight of stature she may be, but she exhibited a great strength in her playing, especially in the long cadenza to the first movement with much double stopping echoing the main theme.

She then developed the beautifully laid oboe theme with sensitivity and intensity before the dashing finale – her stresses on strong beats and rhythmic quality being of the highest order. It was a delightful performance.

Mendelssohn's Reformation Symphony No 5 completed the programme and once again, after early brass fanfares, there was wave upon wave of exceptional string sound.

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The chattering little trios after a dancing opening were features of the Allegro and, after time for reflection in the short Andante, delicate woodwind led into the chorale and subsequent powerful development.

All through the orchestra produced a consistent and wonderfully forward, sharp tone to bring another friendly festival to a close with a flourish.

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