A Game of Two Halves

Visited the Phil last night to see Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2 and Shostakovich Symphony No.5 as part of the Summer Pops series.

The Rachmaninov piece is the one we all know as it was used as the soundtrack to David Lean’s film Brief Encounter but this rendition really highlighted how dramatic and ‘Russian’ it is. The piano was ravishing and Simon Trpčeski deserves his reputation as a rising young star.

The romantic piano was counterpoised by dramatic strings, Cossacks galloping across the steppes and all that!

Deserved ovations for Simon, conductor Vasily Petrenko and the orchestra.

The second half of the concert was the Shostakovich No.5.

I had not heard this before. A very dark and brooding piece and an unusual choice for a summer pops concert. The playing was technically very sharp (flawless said my companion for the night who knows about such things!) and atmospheric. I cannot say that I enjoyed this but the playing was obviously brilliant and the fiddle players were certainly put through their paces.

A great ovation at the end but I must say that this piece was one for the real classical music lover. Not a sing along concerto this one!

It was great to see the Phil packed and the age profile seemed a lot younger than when I last attended a classical concert a couple of years ago. A tribute the management of this great orchestra that they are managing to attract a younger crowd after years of it being dominated by the over sixties. This bodes well for the future.

A great night all in all and I was amazed at the ovation for Vasily and the Orchestra at the end of the night. I can honestly say that in all my 30 odd years of attending classical music concerts at the Philharmonic Hall I have never witnessed such rapturous and heartfelt appreciation of the playing here.

This orchestra must now be recognized as one of the best in the country.

Definitely Top of the Pops!!

My Rating – 9 out of 10.

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About argybargy17

Culture vulture and manic ukulele player

One response to “A Game of Two Halves”

  1. BarbarascultureBlog. says :

    Well Paul,I’m the third Cultural Champion at the Phil in two days! So between us I reckon we have got it covered.
    I went to the BATTLE OF BRITAIN concert. This was a sing-a-long with Carl Davies (love that Man!) and Claire
    Sweeney and again the Phil was packed, but tonight it was generally an older audience no less enthusiastic, flag waving and after encouragement from both Carl and Claire they were singing and clapping along with all the ‘Golden Oldies’ , I joined in with great enjoyment. My Score is also a 9 out of 10 . Two very different events
    both fantastic in their way. Barb

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