Music review: Bristol Classical Players at St George's; 8/10 by John Packwood
THE Bristol Classical Players formed in 2008 to perform Beethoven's nine symphonies and since then have covered many of the romantic composers.
Saturday's concert saw the return of the prominent British pianist Stephen Hough playing one of the lesser known piano concertos, that in G minor by Dvorak.
After a lengthy orchestral introduction the main theme is presented and taken up by the piano, with considerable development. The first movement contains the characteristics of the composer with lyricism and dramatic elements showing up in equal amounts. After this lively opening the slow movement is a haven of peace and one of Dvorak's loveliest lyrical inspirations. The song-like theme is introduced by the horn, then taken up by the piano and is both quiet and gentle throughout.
The finale is in the form of a capriccio based on a folk song. The first two themes are of a light- hearted nature; the third is a complete contrast with its nostalgic cantabile feeling and the concerto comes to a cheerful conclusion.
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Stephen gave a controlled performance bringing out the various moods with great skill. This interesting work is certainly worth hearing again. The orchestra supported the soloist nobly.
Having opened with the overture to Fidelio the orchestra recovered from a rather shaky start to finish with Beethoven's popular fifth symphony; the players were in fine form and the exuberant conductor Tom Gauterin led up to the fiery finale with some excellent playing.