Chopin 200

Thursday 25 February 2010 at 2.15pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121-780 3333

Andrew Litton  conductor
William Wolfram  piano

Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet 21′
Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 30′
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 4 34′

Next week the musical world celebrates the 200th birthday of its favourite composer of piano music, and the CBSO gets in early with performances of his dazzling and lyrical second concerto, played by a leading American pianist. This is gloriously romantic music, and Tchaikovsky’s famous Shakespearean overture is even more so. Regular guest conductor Andrew Litton is renowned for his commitment to English music, and here he conducts Vaughan Williams’ most dramatic symphony.

Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:

…”William Wolfram (a name new to me, but one for which I shall watch out from now on), delivered a scintillating account of the intricate solo writing, effusive decorations fluently assimilated into a poetically-phrased, fluent singing line, richly chorded where appropriate and subtly pedalled.

And Vaughan Williams’ Symphony no.4 was searing and passionate, taking no prisoners, in Litton’s reading with this pliant orchestra. Textures and timbres were consummately layered, instrumental solos (not least the flute on what I was told was a substitute instrument) were engaging, and the drama unfolded with relentless timing. “

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