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Alasdair Beatson the Goyescas by Gran- rewarding exploration concert opener. ados, with a profound of the keyboard both Colin Matthew’s six minute, Fanfare and depth of emotion in a for the listener and for a Flourish (with Fireflies) was originally written beautifully-shaped, pianist of Beatson’s to celebrate Oliver Knussen’s 50th birthday in expansive performance. outstanding calibre. 2002 and this collection of orchestral She followed it with Chop- He concluded with the decorations offended no-one, but neither did in’s relatively unfamiliar E exquisite Four Piano Pieces, it really grasp the attention of an audience flat Rondo, Op.16, negotiating Op. 119, composed by Brahms settling down from their interval drinks. For a its fast-flowing passages with cool towards the end of his life, respond- midweek concert it was certainly unusual for control, elegance and ease. To conclude, she ing sensitively to the gentle nostalgia of the two composers, Knussen and Matthews, to be offered a highly accomplished account of three Intermezzos with beautifully judged play- present for their own music and this increased Rachmaninov’s Second Sonata in B flat minor, ing, and crowning the set with a bravura per- the applause exponentially. Op.36, the dramatic opening of the Allegro formance of the Rhapsody. Incongruously, it was Schumann’s Rhenish agitato compelling attention, while the con- MARGARET DAVIES Symphony that was chosen to end the concert. cluding Allegro molto was the ideal showcase Whether this was to attract a few more pat- for Hu’s virtuosity as she propelled the move- Oliver Knussen conducts rons or a strange idea by the programme ment to an emphatic climax. the Hallé Orchestra MARGARET DAVIES he composer, Oliver Knussen Dominic Piers Smith Alasdair Beatson at the Wigmore Hall T made a welcome appearance at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall to conduct the Hallé Orchestra in linking theme characterised the prog- a varied programme of his A ramme of the Scottish pianist Alasdair Beatson’s recital at the Wigmore Hall on 8 own music, together with
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