Music Review: The Hallé at the Royal Concert Hall

Words: Kevin Stanley
Monday 03 April 2023
reading time: min, words

Kevin Stanley reviews the Hallé...


The programme tonight has been created by the Hallé’s new Composer in Residence: Dobrinka Tabakova. Tonight’s solo artist is Jakob Koranyi, a fantastic Swedish cellist from Stockholm. It’s easy to see why he has won numerous awards. His playing is beautiful. He plays several solo segments and also a part alongside the lead violinist. 

Tabita Berglund is the conductor this evening, she is regarded as one of today’s most exciting, talented young conductors and she has a style all of her own. She is full of energy and exciting to watch. It’s wonderful to watch her conducting the orchestra. As you might imagine she has conducted orchestras all across the world. She originally trained as a cellist herself, before conducting became her main focus in 2015. Perhaps this is why she and Koranyi are perfect partners. She is a whirlwind of energy. He plays with limitless enthusiasm and passion. There is clearly a great deal of respect between them. Even they embrace, twice after the first half of the performance. Koranyi also extends his appreciation to the orchestra and to the audience. He rounds out the first half of the evening with a piece of Bach which the audience really appreciate.

the strings are divine

The Cello Concerto by Dvorák is immensely enjoyable. Next is Schubert’s C major Fantasy homage, the strings are divine, combing with the cello and the viola to create a wonderous symphonic sound.

The second half of the evening is filled with Symphony Number 5 by Sibelius a brooding and dark, but also grand piece that brings to mind the wonders of nature in what is an almost hymn-like piece of music. That said, without the solo cello it is somehow less enjoyable.

The After Hours performance saw pianist Cordelia Williamsperforming a programme inspired by the Fantasy homage to Schubert, including Nocturnes by Chopin and Dobrinka Tabakova and Schubert’s Sonata No. 19 in C minor. A perfect accompaniment to the programme just performed by the Hallé.

It was a night of beautiful music in the first half, somewhat melancholy music in the second half, with little audience interaction. Of course, it does not take away from the talent and enthusiasm that the Hallé brings to Nottingham. The After Hours performance by Cordelia Williams was beautiful.

The Hallé concert took place at the Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Saturday 1 April, 7:30pm

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