CBSO Concert Review

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Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Sunday 10th January

Debussy Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune

Schumann Piano Concerto

Sibelius Lemminkäinen Suite

On a wintery Sunday afternoon this concert from the CBSO offered an inviting and warming programme of love and legend.  Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune was captivating and shimmering, exploring broad orchestral colours right from the exquisite flute opening.

Beatrice Rana’s performance of Schumann’s Piano Concerto captured vitality and adoration, ideal for Schumann’s only completed piano concerto written for his wife Clara.  Rana and the CBSO presented this concerto with encompassing delight, exploring beautiful tones and cascades of chords.  Rana then enchanted the audience with a subtle and nuanced encore of Liszt’s transcription of Schumann’s song, Widmung.

Bringing a rousing conclusion to the concert, the orchestra performed Sibelius’s Lemminkäinen Suite with drama and conviction.  With true heroic spectacle and boldness this piece offered an energised climax to this afternoon’s concert.

This stirring programme was performed under the baton of the young Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla who debuted with the CBSO last summer, and was invited back especially for this concert.  Together conductor and orchestra enthralled the audience, creating immense energy and enchantment on stage.

This concert offered true Sunday afternoon escapism with a magnificent programme in which even the quietest pianissimo and smallest musical gestures filled the stunning venue that is Symphony Hall.

As a student at the University of Birmingham it is consistently remarkable that concerts such as this, from a world class orchestra featuring renowned soloists and conductors, at a stunning venue are basically on your doorstep (or a seven minute train ride away…!).

So accessible, and too good to be missed!

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