Review: review of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Corn Exchange on Thursday 13th March 2014.

After a splendid talk given by James Day, the concert in the Corn Exchange opened with a large combined orchestra playing a new composition from an educational project headed by Paul Griffiths.  The work was inspired by the second movement of Beethoven’s seventh symphony and indeed there were many patterns that mimicked Beethoven’s rhythmic style along with some magical combinations of sounds, especially in the third movement.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra then took the stage to play the ‘Fidelio Overture’. Conductor Paul Daniel inspired great energy, drama and expressive contrasts in the performance.

John Lill was undoubtedly the star of the evening with his wonderfully authoritative and accurate performance of the ‘Emperor’ Concerto. His power, musicality and ability to play the smoothest, rapid scale passages I have ever heard, gave substance and authenticity to the composition.  

Beethoven’s seventh symphony, the final work of the evening, was in grand style and the emphatic opening led into great moments of rhythmical excitement, whimsical delicacy or suspense. The constant throb of the pavane rhythm in the second movement was heightened with a variety of effects: sorrowful themes, impassioned climaxes and moments of sweetness and precision. The break-neck scherzo with its very familiar theme followed and the work ended in grand style with a movement that reinforced the potency, strength and rhythmic exhilaration of the whole composition.  

There was no doubt why the packed audience was so enthusiastic. This was a magnificent evening.       

The next major event for the Royal Philharmonic will be on 22nd May at 730 pm at the Corn Exchange featuring Nicholos Collon (conductor), Julian Lloyd Webber (cello) and Lucy Hall (soprano) performing the Four Sea Interludes by Britten, Elgar’s Cello Concerto and Symphony no. 3 by Vaughan Williams.

Contact: 01223 357851




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