Music Review: The Hallé's Drivetime concert

Words: Ian C Douglas
Saturday 24 June 2023
reading time: min, words

Ian C Douglas reviews the Hallé's Drivetime concert at the Royal Concert Hall

Drivetime Concert Web Hero Image 1280X480

Isn’t it a great idea? Schedule an early evening event, and reach out to those not able to make the later slots most commonly put aside for concerts.

Drivetime is exactly that. A six o’clock session lasting a little over an hour. Ideal for families, workers clocking off, or those citybound for pubs and restaurants. You can round off your week or kick off the weekend. It gives ‘Thank God it’s Friday’ a whole new slant.

And who better than the Hallé, one of the most regular visiting orchestras to Nottingham?

Tonight, on their musical agenda, we had some famous names, wise choices for both those new to classical music (kids) and those who don’t get to concerts so often (their mums and dads).

The highlights included Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra. Yes, that triumphal bit from Space Odyssey 2001 as well as the Apollo space programme. Next was Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, real ear candy, and likewise Saint Saen’s Danse Macabre. These were swiftly followed by Stravinsky’s Firebird.

You can round off your week or kick off the weekend...

The emerging theme, in case you haven’t spotted it, was fantasy. Ghosts, skeletons, magical birds, although Zarathustra might need a tad more explaining.

Talking of which, the performance had a narrator on stage in the form of Ruth Rosales. A skilled compère, Ruth led the audience through the maze of melodies, part storyteller and part guide. She even had the auditorium up and line-dancing for one number. Not to the taste of middle-aged critics perhaps, but the wee ones loved it.

The show concluded with John Williams’ Imperial March and Main Theme from Star Wars. Guaranteed to gain instant recognition from the cinema and DVD boxset folks. As said above, a programme of wise choices.

And lets not overlook the Drivetime Choir, packing out the stalls, and belting out the words to two of the compositions.      

All in all, an affordable and tuneful outing for those who appreciate ‘early doors’. If you want to introduce your offspring to the classics, look out for the next Drivetime!       

The Hallé's Drivetime played at the Royal Concert Hall on Friday June 23rd 2023.

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