Tom Redmond's new spoken commentary to
Britten's 'Young Person's Guide'
impresses MIKE WHEELER
It was clear from the start that this was going to be more than just your average run-through of Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet. The measured opening to Mark Elder's performance with the Hallé Orchestra (Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, UK, 2 June 2015) suggested a Friar Lawrence already looking back on a tragedy that had played itself out. The careful handling extended to such things as orchestral balance — I don't think I've been so aware of the piquant cor anglais colouring to the first appearance of the love theme, for instance — and dramatic pacing, an effective build-up of tension keeping full-blown romantic ardour in reserve for its final appearance.
Benjamin Grosvenor was the soloist in Shostakovich's Second Piano Concerto, at twenty-two just three years older than the composer's son, Maxim, when he gave the premiere...
Copyright © 12 June 2015