City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra by ProQuest

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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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