Comedy and Tragedy

Wednesday 17 April 2013 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0600

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Vassily  Sinaisky   conductor

Alan Thomas  trumpet

Shostakovich: Hamlet – film music suite 21′

Hummel: Trumpet Concerto 19′

Beethoven: Overture, Leonora No. 3 13′ 

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 6, Op. 53 30′ Listen on Spotify

Comedy or tragedy? Shostakovich, like Shakespeare, knew that great art can be both at once. Maybe that’s why his powerful Sixth Symphony swings from black despair to knockabout fun, and why his Hamlet film-score bristles with deadpan humour. Guest conductor Vassily Sinaisky knows this music inside-out – and he’ll bring all his signature verve to the out-and-out heroism of Beethoven’s Leonora overture. CBSO principal trumpet Alan Thomas is the soloist in an irresistible comic opera of a concerto by Mozart’s star pupil. www.cbso.co.uk

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Review by John Gough, Birmingham Post:

Click here for full review

…     “This stunningly well played concert of violent emotional  contrasts was a triumphant display of the powers of concentration of both  conductor and players.

After Shostakovich’s suite from his film music for Hamlet,  CBSO trumpeter Alan Thomas brought a gleaming tone and a dancing lightness to  Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto, poetic in the slow movement and full of gleeful high  spirits and agility in the irresistible finale.

The second half brought a dramatic change of tone with a  blazing performance of Beethoven’s Leonora Overture no. 3, where the strings’  evocation of hope after oppression in the coda had an unquenchable  excitement.

And so to the enigma of Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 6.  Vassily Sinaisky is one of a great line of Russian conductors in this  repertoire, and he gave us an intense and disturbing performance, part  apocalypse and part circus.”     …

*****

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