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Concert Reviews Worst storms for 20 years? warm your soul: go to a concert! CBSO at Manchester’s Bridgewater drew the strands together with vision and title, Mediterranean Moods stretched geo- Hall command. graphy somewhat, and the very rare opport- For me though, the performance of the unity of hearing such music in excellent perf- o keep things fresh in Manchester, The night came before the interval. Nikolai Lug- ormances proved a great attraction. The T Hallé and CBSO came up with an intriguing idea to trade places for a concert on ansky played Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Con- certo – a tricky prospect when pretty much opening work, Florent Schmitt’s Legende, of 1918, is admirably consistent in style, being 8 January, and consequently it was the the entire audience has their own favourite not inferior to Debussy’s Rhapsodies, which it orchestra from Birmingham who entertained recording playing simultaneously in their at times resembles. Paul Creston’s three- at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, conducted minds! Lugansky changed all that. His unique movement Sonata of 1939 is arguably the at short notice, by Dmitri Slobodeniouk. decisions on rubato, dynamics, crescendo and finest such work written for this medium. It is I haven’t heard the CBSO live for a few sheer musicality, made this performance one so well written, speaking directly to the list- years now and they have certainly maintained in a million. The blend between soloist and ener and demonstrating Creston’s impressively a wonderfully high standard of playing over orchestra was seamless, the second movement: natural gifts. It received an extremely fine the years. Nielsen’s Rhapsodic Overture: A a meditation. The finale raised the perform- performance, Mei Yi proving herself a splen- Fantasy Journey to the Faroe Islands was ance further. Lugansky made the listener really did partner, as she did throughout the recital. tremendous fun. The strings depicting the sea appreciate the beauty of the sound that could In the first of two solo piano items, the very caught the interest from the start; the E flat be produced on the Bridgewater Hall’s rarely heard Three Romances by Clara Wieck clarinet seagull calls added some flavour and Steinway, allowing chords to die away to their from 1839, she showed that she is a mature the rhythms of the Faroese tunes carried the very last overtones and to highlight the bold- artist indeed, and I look forward to a full-scale party forward with some atmosphere. It’s no ness of the bass notes to assume a character of recital from her. Pierre Sancan’s impressive wonder these rustic melodies captured Percy their own. A ravishing performance! Lamento et Rondo for saxophone and piano Grainger’s attention so much. JOHN BYRNE from 1973 made a similarly strong and direct The concert ended with Nielsen’s impression as had the works by Schmitt and Symphony no. 4, The Inexting- Mediterranean Moods for Creston. uishable. Here, Slobodeniouk Saxophone and Piano Jules Demersseman (1833-66) was an early was in his element. His at Wigmore Hall exponent of the saxophone; his Fantasie, a awareness of accent, theme and variations, inhabits the virtuoso rhythm and the terrific he programme by school of instrumentalist-composers of the variety of instrumental combinations and tex- T the Greek-born saxophonist Theodore mid-nineteenth-century. The Toccata-finale of Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin received from tures, made this a great Kerkezos at Wigmore Mei Yi Foo an account that was positively performance. From rustic Hall on 18 January wa
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