Summer Prom: National Youth Orchestra

Birmingham International Concert Season 2011/12

Part of Birmingham International Concert Season 2011/12… more events…

Wednesday 1 August

Symphony Hall

National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
Vasily Petrenko conductor
Joanna MacGregor piano
Cynthia Millar ondes Martenot

Programme includes

Varèse Tuning Up 5’
Nico Muhly Gait (BBC commission) 20’
Messiaen Turangalîla-Symphonie 75’

encore -Anna Meredith – Hands Free

– (video here)

Described by The Times as ‘the most uplifting orchestra in the world’, the vast National Youth Orchestra comprises 165 of the country’s most talented teenage stars. Hear them here first with their equally exuberant Principal Conductor Vasily Petrenko, pianist Joanna MacGregor and ondes Martenot expert Cynthia Millar. Together they awaken the wonders of Messiaen’s uplifting testament to time and love, the breathtaking musical kaleidoscope that is Turangalîla-Symphonie.

BBC Music magazine’s Editor, Oliver Condy, recommends tonight’s concert: “Vasily Petrenko is one of the UK’s fastest-rising conducting stars. He’s already worked wonders with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and he’s expected to do the same for the fabulous National Youth Orchestra. Bringing together musicians from every corner of the country, tonight’s concert has a true Olympic feel.”

Before the performance, see the NYO’s Creative Hub perform compositions by talented teenage composers at 6pm.  www.thsh.co.uk

Full report on the youngest ever leader of the National Youth Orchestra – here

**********

Review by John Quinn, SeenandHeard:

Click here for full review

…     “The other great exuberant showpiece in this work is the last movement, ‘Final’. After some seventy minutes of demanding performance the NYO still had reserves of energy, enthusiasm and, one suspects, pure adrenalin, to deliver a performance of this movement that was full of vitality and sheer joie de vivre. Petrenko, conducting with the clarity and energy that had galvanised his players throughout the evening, inspired them to bring the symphony to a triumphant conclusion. The ovation from the audience was richly deserved.

The NYO brings this programme to the BBC Proms on Saturday next, 4 August (19:30). The concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and will be well worth hearing.”

Review by Fiona Maddocks, Observer:

Click here for full review

…     “This was a whirlwind performance, tubas, trombone and trumpets blasting out thrillingly, cymbals crashing with a celestial grandeur the composer would have loved. At the end, the swooning, elastic, electronic cries of the ondes martenot rode these torrents of sound like a storm-tossed Neptune surfing the waves. As an encore the NYO performed part of Anna Meredith’s HandsFree, in which instruments are abandoned and the body – clapping, stomping, hissing, clicking – becomes music, ending with nearly 200 teenagers thrusting their arms in the air in perfect unison.”    …

 

Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:

Click here for full review

…     “This ten-movement kaleidoscope puts huge demands of concentration and stamina as well as technique upon the players, and these musicians rose to the challenge magnificently under the irresistible personality of conductor Vasily Petrenko’s direction. Stentorian brass, sensuous woodwind, strings both sumptuous and flickering, percussion clicking, shimmering, affirmative, all worked triumphantly in the cause of this amazing, life-enhancingly erotic piece (will someone please unearth a recording of its 1948 premiere under Leonard Bernstein?).

The two ever-present soloists, Joanna MacGregor’s pianism florid and discreet by turns, Cynthia Millar bringing a lifetime of experience in this piece with the gallimaufry of kit which makes up the Star Trek-sounding Ondes Martenot, knew how to balance their contributions to the work of the orchestra, and acknowledged their young colleagues genuinely at the end.”     …

 

Review by Nick Breckenfield, ClassicalSource, (for performance at Royal Albert Hall – Prom 29)

Click here for full review

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