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Great and the good savour Ulster Orchestra's tasty lunch date

By Alf McCreary

The Ulster Orchestra ended its very successful series of lunchtime concerts in the Ulster Hall yesterday with an absolute feast of music in Schubert's 9th Symphony.

This is popularly-known as 'The Great' and it is certainly that in length, lasting an hour, and even greater in content.

This masterpiece by Schubert was not heard by the composer in his lifetime, but it continues to fill concert-halls in the 21st century.

Under the inspired baton of the Musical Director Rafael Payare, the sheer power of the music was tempered with great lyricism, particularly in the second and third movements, and the Symphony wound its long way in the Fourth Movement to a thrilling finale.

The Ulster Orchestra is ending its main season in great style on Friday evening when Stephen Hough, one of the world's finest soloists, will play the dazzling Beethoven 'Emperor' Concerto No 5, and the season will end with a performance of Prokofiev's Symphony No 5, which is one of the greatest orchestral showpieces in the classical repertoire. The concert begins at 7.45pm in the Ulster Hall and is unmissable.

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