Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Classical Music 30/10/09

Tonight’s largely Polish programme by the Ulster Orchestra presages the close of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s.

I write ‘largely’ because the concert opens with an infamous French piece — Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, and conjures all sorts of sensual images.

The connection between that and the rest of the programme tonight is obscure.

The link between composers Karol Szymanowski and Witold Lutoslawski is there for all to see. British violinist Tasmin Little will play Szymanowski’s Second Violin Concerto, with its overtones of Polish folk music.

It’s said that Lutoslawski was directly inspired to be a composer by hearing Szymanowski’s music, but many Polish composers of the early twentieth century were. Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra is folkloristic, but not straightforward.

There’s been a rich offering of classical music in this year’s festival, and tonight’s concert provides a fitting and colourful conclusion.

Polish Passions is on in the Ulster Hall at 7.45pm, and will be followed by the Naked Violin Project at May Street Church, again with Tasmin Little.

phammond13@hotmail.com

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