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Sibelius’ early champions. spent much of its time underlining the I was a little disappointed that the second strings heavy chordal writing and seldom concert opened with what was indeed a reaching anything lyrical, and I know from truly fine account of the Third Symphony, long experience of Fitkin’s music that he doubtless to enable the audience to go can write lyrical music. He also withheld home with the familiar stirring music and tunes from the strings – and if ever an melodies of the Second in their minds. A orchestra had a section designed for long small niggle but truly felt. Of course, the breathed melodies this is it – using the Third Symphony together with its followers section more as a rhythmic group. In marks the composer’s move out of the many respects I was disappointed with influence of such Russians as Tchaikovsky what Fitkin had written for it seemed to and into the language he made so much hold neither the rhythmic interest, nor of his own, culminating in the single move- the quirkiness, for which he is known – I ment Seventh in which the elements of am thinking of the pieces he wrote for his the genre are drawn into a superbly Graham Fitkin Nanquidno Group, especially There is a integrated whole. great weight on my head tonight and Needless to say, the growth of Sibelius’ Untitled 11. On my way home I realised symphonic creativity was as stimulating as Graham Fitkin première that there is the Fitkin quirkiness and it was thought provoking. Looking back I St John’s, Smith Square, London rhythmic movement, but it was well find myself reliving the overall experience hidden within the often thick textures he rather than the many individual passages his season the London Chamber employed. However, I do want to hear of extreme pianissimo and fortissimo which T Orchestra is offering the four Brahms Symphonies, plus the Double Concerto, the work again, perhaps in a less lively acoustic, for I suspect that it is a better punctuates these works of genius, in particular, the often misunderstood Fourth some interesting, but little heard, rarities piece than tonight’s performance led us and Sixth Symphonies were here projected – Saint–Saëns’s Havanaise for instance to believe. Kathryn Stott was the perfect with lucidity and straight forward musical – and one novelty – Graham Fitkin’s new soloist, relishing her part, whether she intelligence. Piano Concerto, entitled Ruse – which could be heard or not. Nor will the moving and thrilling voice we heard at its premiere on December 9 Bruch’s delightful First Violin Concerto of Helena Juntunen in the finest exaltation at St John’s, Smith Square. followed in a nicely paced performance of the magnificent Scena Luonnotar, on I am not sure if starting with the Fitkin by Harriet Langley and with Warren– February 3, or the dynamic and sound col- was such a good idea for it is a difficult Green, himself a violinist, fully under- ourations of Tapiola which thrillingly con- piece to grasp and coming to it cold, so standing how to allow the music to firmed both Sibelius’ genius and Osmo to speak, must have made it hard work breathe in order give the soloist maxi- Vänskä’s right to interpret him. for many of the audience. I don’t believe mum support. The show ended with a Remembering the sometime clinical that this really can be seen as a Piano fine account of Brahms’s Second Sym- acoustic of the Royal Festival Hall in its Concerto, for the piano has precious few phony, an interesting interpretation to be early days the present warmth of sound in occasions on which to scintillate, as a sure, but Warren-Green knew what he music of this character is as especially soloist should, but rather it
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