Thursday 10 May 2012

Berlin Symphony Orchestra at St. Andrew's Hall

It was a wonderful start to the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2012 at St. Andrew's Hall with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alexander Liebreich and cellist Julian Lloyd Webber thrilling a sold out concert on Wednesday 9th May 2012. I made my way to the venue with great excitement as I looked forward to the opening event of this year's festival.

The programme consisted of Overture, Der Freischutz - Weber, Cello Concerto in C major - Haydn, Serenata and Marcia from Cello Suite No1, Op.72 - Britten, Coriolan Overture, Op.62 - Beethoven and Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68 - Brahms. This was a great and varied programme with something for everyone. My personal favourite being the Brahms Symphony No.1.

It was the ideal way to start the concert with Weber's Overture to the opera Der Freischutz which transported us to the enchanted depths of the German forests before Julian Lloyd Webber made his entrance to perform the pieces from Haydn and Britten. The cellist is a great virtuoso who gave a magical performance at St. Andrew's Hall on a night to remember.

After the interval the Berlin Symphony Orchestra treated us to Beethoven's Coriolan Overture which many observers have seen as the forerunner of the tone poem with its abrupt changes in dynamics and contrasting themes. Johannes Brahms took many years to compose his first symphony partly due to the composer feeling that Beethoven had expended nearly all the potential of that form. Brahms is one of favourite composers and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra performing his first Symphony made the night for me.

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