Review: of the concert featuring George Harliono and the Uttlesforde Orchestra at Saffron Hall on Saturday 8th February 2014

George Harliono and the Uttlesforde orchestra presented an impressive concert on Saturday. George, a teenager who attends the Perse School in Cambridge, played Piano Concerto No. 1 by Liszt with amazing strength, agility and accuracy. Somehow, this lad demonstrated maturity way beyond his years as he became fully engrossed in the essential musicality of the work. There was more than virtuosic prowess in this performance. It was awe-inspiring. His exquisitely shaped dynamics, moments of delicacy with substance, his scintillating flourishes and his talent for showmanship had us transfixed.  We were privileged indeed to witness the beginnings of what will undoubtedly be a highly successful career as a concert pianist. It was no surprise that he was given a standing ovation and we were delighted when he came back on the stage, sat at the grand piano and played ‘Suggestion Diabolique’ by Prokofiev as an encore.

The Uttlesforde Orchestra, conducted by Richard Hull, was in good form. It opened the evening with a worthy performance of the challenging Stravinsky Symphony in C. The instrumentalists mastered well the short emphatic rhythmic and melodic snatches shared by different sections of the orchestra in a largely discordant texture. In the first movement the oboe in particular was rich and expressive and the woodwind as a whole displayed phenomenal precision.  This orchestra captured the exotic flavour of the second movement and gave credence to the restless separated elements of the themes in the final movement.

The concert ended with the orchestra playing ‘Symphony no. 2’ by Brahms. This suited the orchestra particularly well and we were thoroughly engaged with the sweeping, extended melodies of this composer. There were great moments of heightened passion, sadness or rustic jollity as the movements required while the final movement was filled with energy and power. As we were reminded of the special quality of Brahms’ potent thematic material this splendid evening came to a fitting close.

The next event for the orchestra will be on Saturday 5th April 2014 at Rhodes Centre, Bishops Stortford, 7.30 pm and will feature works by Verdi, Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn.

Contact: http://www.uttlesford.net

To find out more about George: http://www.georgeharliono.co.uk/

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3 Responses to “Review: of the concert featuring George Harliono and the Uttlesforde Orchestra at Saffron Hall on Saturday 8th February 2014”

  1. Rob Furber Says:

    Thank you for such a well written piece. If you would like to write future reviews of Uttlesforde’s concerts – please leave a note on our FACEBOOK page

  2. Review of concert starring George Harliono | Uttlesforde Orchestra Says:

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