Thursday 5th February 2015 at 7.30pm
Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0600
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Kazushi Ono conductor
Marie-Christine Zupancic flute
Schubert: Symphony No. 5 26′
Mozart: Flute Concerto No. 2, K. 285d 20′
Schumann: Symphony No. 3 (Rhenish) 31′ Watch on YouTube
Schumann’s “Rhenish” symphony opens in a blaze of glory… and ends at a beer festival! There’s never been a more enjoyable way to experience the Rhineland, and you don’t even have to leave your seat in Symphony Hall! First, though, Franz Schubert raises the curtain with a gentle smile – and the CBSO’s own Marie- Christine Zupancic brings out the light and shade of Mozart’s jewel-like concerto.
The annual Bequest Patrons’ Reception takes place after this concert on 5 February. For information, contact Claire Watts on 0121 616 6533.
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Review by Hedy Mühleck, BachTrack:
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… “Floating rather than walking, Kazushi Ono swept into the hall and injected this floating quality in the opening movement of Schubert’s Symphony no. 5 in B flat major. The smaller orchestration made for an amazingly transparent soundscape, nicely articulated particularly by the first violins. This transparency and the musicians’ eager compliance with each and every of Ono’s small gestures created flowing and flexible dynamic, but also revealed occasional instances where the second violins appeared to minimally lag behind the first. This, however, was quickly forgotten after the first few notes of the elegiac Andante. […]
[…] “Mozart provided the opportunity for a cadenza in each movement, and I was particularly looking forward to these as the soloist who, having grown up in the Lower Rhine area, further added to the evening’s theme, had captured me with her characteristic, silver tone whenever I’d heard the CBSO previously. While I missed her trademark tone, her cadenzas offered exciting pianos in which every note was a self-contained entity, a thin ray of light that grew broader as she played. The first cadenza appeared as a more modern-sounding addition, the second movement cadenza however was of the same confiding nature as preceding solo parts, felt less disjointed and much more an organic part of the movement. The high-spirited, bubbly final movement displayed the same transparent quality as the opening Schubert, with gleaming brass lines over which the first violins cast their notes like a sugar dusting. The third movement cadenza, recapitulating material of the rondo, fitted seamlessly into the movement, giving it a great sense of overall balance.” …
Review by Sam Chipman, PublicReviews:
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… “His writing here is actually for an oboe, but was adapted to be performed as a flute concerto. Marie-Christine Zupancic plays with great expression and ability, her cadenzas are suitable stylistic and allow her to show off her virtuosic skills. She is ably accompanied by the CBSO who take delight in the conversation Mozart gives with the soloist. The Allegro is delightfully light and spirited: a true homage to Mozart himself.
“A slice of Rhenish life” is what Schumann called the fourth movement of his Third Symphony, inspired by a visit to Cologne Cathedral and which rounds off the evening. Thrilled by the sights of Dusseldorf after arriving to take up the post of musical director in 1850, the work reflects the beauty of the Rhineland he saw around him; this was before both personal and professional problems arose which resulted in a suicide attempt by drowning in the Rhine in 1854. The Lebhaft is played with triumphant impatience by a larger CBSO orchestra, a vividly bright performance of the great Schumann score. The brass section really grasps the solemn feel of the Feierlich which is played both lyrically and with gravitas, and the final Lebhaft is played with a sense of urgency to bring about the climactic finish.
Kazushi Ono shows his class, as does the CBSO, with this delightful concert. An excellent selection of music to tickle any classic music lovers taste-buds, and played nimbly and with great intelligent awareness by the CBSO, marshalled by Ono – all in all a thoroughly enjoyable evening of music.”