Bach and Bruckner

ThumbnailRelax and Revitalise

Wednesday 11th March 2015 at 7.30pm

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

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Ilan Volkov  conductor
Ilya Gringolts  violin

Bach: Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor 16′
Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 79′

Soul music, Austrian style. Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony has been described as a cathedral in sound, but Bruckner also drew his inspiration from the music of J. S. Bach and the majestic scenery of the Austrian Alps. So the timeless beauty of Bach’s A minor violin concerto – played today by the superb Ilya Gringolts – will make the perfect upbeat.

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Review by Andrew Clements, Guardian:

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…     “Some conductors open the acoustic doors in Symphony Hall as wide as possible in order for Bruckner to create a church-like resonance. Volkov opted for a less opulent sound, and hearing the Fifth launched with such a determined, clear tread in the introduction to the first movement underlined all kinds of symphonic connections, tracing its lineage right back through Schubert, and of course Beethoven, to Haydn. The CBSO’s playing was never plush, but it was always precise and intently responsive. The only one of the four massive movements that seemed a bit unfocused was the scherzo, with its strange, almost supernatural feeling, and it took a while for the sense of completion and closure to arrive in the finale too. But when it did, it was utterly convincing.

When Volkov conducted Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony with the BBC Scottish Orchestra four years ago, he prefaced it with Bach’s A minor Violin Concerto, and he did the same here. Ilya Gringolts was the soloist this time – rather luxury casting for a work that lasts barely 15 minutes, but his playing had enough panache and swagger about it to turn the concerto into a convincing showcase for his virtuosity.”

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