Saturday 14 May 2011

The Hippodrome turns into the Kingdom of Sweets

The Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra join the circus
After experiencing the delights of the Gramoulinophone and visiting the Time and Tide Museum in the afternoon I made my way to The Hippodrome for the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra concert as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

The wind was blowing off the North Sea on Great Yarmouth Sea Front as I made my way into The Hippodrome which is normally home to the circus. The programme for the night was The Tale of Tsar Saltan Suite Op. 57 - Rimsky-Korsakov, Piano Concerto no. 1 in F sharp minor Op. 1 - Rachmaninov and The Nutcracker Act II - Tchaikovsky.

With Alexei Stepanov as conductor and Ivan Rudin as pianist this was a very enjoyable concert showcasing three Russian masterpieces. The opening piece is based on the Pushkin fairy-tale with the addition of some characters. A wonderful way to open the concert.

Rachmaninov wrote his first piano concerto at the age of 18 while a student at the Moscow Conservatoire. How splendid to hear this vibrant and lively music. A perfect choice for a day at the seaside.

After the interval we were treated to Tchaikovsky's Act II from The Nutcracker. This was truly magical as The Hippodrome was turned into the Kingdom of Sweets. Act II is when the Sugar Plum Fairy and the people of the Kingdom perform several dances for Clara and the Prince. At the end Clara wakes up under the Christmas tree with the Nutcracker toy in her arms.

The Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra reached another level on The Nutcracker which resulted in a standing ovation at the end of their performance. This was a brilliant night at The Hippodrome that will live long in the memories of the audience.

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