Smetana, Bartók and Dvorák from Augustin Hadelich,
Juanjo Mena and the BBC Philharmonic,
reviewed by MIKE WHEELER
Smetana's Vltava, and Dvořák's Ninth Symphony, probably the two most popular Czech orchestral works in the repertoire, formed the framework for conductor Juanjo Mena and the BBC Philharmonic's latest visit to Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall (Nottingham, UK, 26 February 2016).
From a beautifully lucid opening to the Smetana, we moved through an admirably spring-heeled polka; a moment of magical stillness for the nymphs in the moonlight, in which we were also kept aware of the activity underneath; and a choppy navigation of the St John's Rapids. The quotations from Vyšehrad — the first tone poem in the sequence making up Má vlast — that crown the work's climax, could have rung out a little more majestically, but overall this was a performance brimming with inner vitality...
Copyright © 5 March 2016