November Concert Review

Posted on 12th Dec 2022 15:26:55 by Admin

As Dan Watson rightly pointed out in the pre-concert talk, there was a buzz in the air in Queen Victoria Square outside the City Hall, presumably the anticipation of an exciting programme fused with the magic of the Christmas lights illuminating the imposing facade. The audience was more varied in age than usual, something which one audience member suggested may have contributed to the thrill in the atmosphere.

The evening kicked off with Margaret Pinder, Chair of the Hull Philharmonic Society, welcoming everyone and inviting the audience to participate in a minute’s silence in honour of the Ukrainian conductor, Yuriy Kerpatenko, who was shot by Russian troops after refusing to conduct a concert in Kherson intended to demonstrate the peacefulness and functioning normality of life under Russian occupation – a tragic but incredibly principled act of bravery.

The concert opened with Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, the performance of which the orchestra had dedicated to the memory of Mr Kerpatenko and to the artists and people of Ukraine. This programming choice was very well received. One audience member delighted that it was her first time hearing the piece performed live, and another praising it as “totally atmospheric!” Indeed, the players perfectly captured the emotional poignancy of the piece, with the two orchestras creating a reflective and haunting dialogue as they passed the music back and forth, combining forces in the dramatic conclusion that then melted away to silence into the hushed atmosphere in the City Hall. 

The audience also thought highly of the Rossini, with one audience member pointing out how great it was to see the bassoon showcased with such virtuosity, another noting her enjoyment at all the piece’s “curious twists and turns,” and another stating that it was simply “brilliant.” Adam’s enthusiastic facial expressions and movements did not go unnoticed by the smiling crowd, who seemed to relish his performance. The lady sitting behind me, the moment it finished, turned to her family and remarked, “That was SO exciting, wasn’t it?!”

But the piece that drew the most audience feedback was the Tchaikovsky. “The pizzicato of the [the third movement of the] Symphony was a treat”; “The Tchaikovsky was electrifying!” One person remarked that he “felt the full force of [Tchaikovsky’s] glorious sounds and tunes,” whilst another declared – following the 4th Symphony – that “The Hull Phil [are] on absolutely top form!”

It was a fabulous evening and an excellent start to the Hull Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2022/23 season. As one audience member said: “Will Saturday 25th February be just as good or better? We shall see!” We shall indeed!

Book your tickets now so that you can judge the answer to that question for yourselves!