Sunday, August 21, 2016

Prom 47 2016: Ulster Orchestra and Rafael Payare

Royal Albert Hall. Sunday 21-August-2016

Another Prom, another box for four plus one, a different set of friends and three more pieces of music. This time we didn't try to bring in a bottle of champagne and this time they didn't do a bag search so we could have got away with it! But we did bring in some nibbles to munch in the box and bought bottles of wine from the bar.

Cristina, Kate, Sheila, Mary

Review extracts from Dominic Lowe on BachTrack:
  • The concert opened with the world première of Belfast-based Piers Hellawell’s Wild Flow, a five-movement work around 20 minutes long; the key piece is its central slow movement, cocooned and contrasted by the surrounding four. Hellawell’s writing creates a soundscape of stalagmites: sharp and initially independent of each other with no natural growth and development. Easily the most striking thing about the piece is its percussion, exceptionally well-played here [...] This is a piece worth hearing again.
  • Narek Hakhnazaryan, a BBC New Generation Artist, took to the stage for Haydn’s Cello Concerto no. 1 in C major, that masterpiece composed for Joseph Franz Weigl in the early 1760s which was lost for centuries. [...] The cellist’s approach was individual enough to risk division; he showed technical ability that was a delight to watch, but his approach was rather less classical than the orchestra’s which brought moments of conflict, particularly in the Allegro. He encored with Sollima’s Lamentatio, a signature piece of his which calls a raw cry from the cellist as well as rapid, extremely deft bowing.
  • Payare opted for a strong final work, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 5 in E minor. The conductor has apparently played the horn solo himself during his time as a player. His intimate knowledge of the work was visible, not just from his conducting of the symphony from memory, but from the multi-faceted, textured account he drew from the orchestra. [...] Payare throughout was an energetic influence on the pit, and the Ulster Orchestra responded with technically brilliant playing. Belfast is lucky to still have this talented group.
  • Full review ...
We all agreed the Hellawell was not entirely to our taste but we loved the Hayden and the Tchaikovsky. As it was still early, being an afternoon concert, we went a quick drink with Kate afterwards at the nearby Queens Arms and then home for supper.

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