Thursday 25th June, 2.15pm
- Strauss Suite in B flat major for 13 winds, 25′
- Shostakovich Chamber Symphony, 20′
- Reich Music for Pieces of Wood, 8′
- Cage First Construction in Metal, 9′
- Mussorgsky (arr. Howarth) Pictures at an Exhibition, 30′
Alpesh Chauhan to stay at CBSO –article by Christopher Morley
Review by David Hart, Birmingham Post:
Click here for full review
… “For the brass Elgar Howarth’s imaginative arrangement of Mussorgky’s Pictures at an Exhibition showed just what exciting sounds can be drawn from an expanded palette of brass colours (especially when played with such firm-of-lip panache) and a conductor alert to good balance.
The two percussion items were less rewarding. Steve Reich’s Music for Pieces of Wood might be an intriguing rhythmic exercise, but quickly outstays its 8-minute duration; and the huge array of instruments in John Cage’s First Construction (in Metal), which Chauhan conducted with military four-in-a-bar precision, certainly tickled the ears although, by today’s standards, its inventiveness seemed disappointingly limited.
Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony for strings, however, was quite different. With its four-note motif an ever-present symbol of the composer’s torment and despair, and the cello solos of Eduardo Vassallo singing songs of forlorn memory, this was a stunningly moving performance, made even more so by the unobtrusive direction of concert master Laurence Jackson. When musicians listen so intently to each other who needs a conductor?”