Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Enchanting premiere by Barry Douglas

CLANDEBOYE FESTIVAL: BEETHOVEN GALA 1 Clandeboye Estate, Bangor

Barry Douglas combines his career as a  world-class  concert pianist with his role at the Clandeboye Festival
Barry Douglas combines his career as a world-class concert pianist with his role at the Clandeboye Festival

Last night's gala concert at Clandeboye included the world premiere of a piece by the festival's director and moving spirit Barry Douglas.

Chant For Columbanus was commissioned last year by North Down District Council to mark the 400th anniversary of Bangor being granted a town charter.

The work is built upon a folk-like melody immediately suggestive of a clear, open horizon, and the lapping rhythms of the ocean. There's delicate scoring for solo violin and cello, and lacings of plangent woodwind detail, as the music describes a gentle arc towards its peaceful conclusion. Douglas himself conducted a fine, atmospherically suggestive performance.

That sense of lyricism flowed over into the opening movement of Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto, directed by Douglas from the keyboard, at a generously expansive tempo. The Rondo finale was, by contrast, taken at a bracing clip, in a virile, sharply accented interpretation.

Douglas's ability to put his own artistry totally at the service of the composer was perfectly illustrated in the brief middle movement, which so many players make a regular meal of.

Beethoven's Fifth Concerto followed after the interval, in an account which mingled exuberance and tender emotion.

A word for first violinist Michael d'Arcy – his role in leading the orchestra was crucial in the absence of a bespoke conductor.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Libra:

Your home life is undergoing big changes. Youngsters may decide the time is right to fly the nest. An elderly relative may come to live with you. You might move in with a loving partner. Whatever form this new situation takes, it will be empowering. You'll get help that was previously unavailable. If your current home can't support the lifestyle changes in your household, it is time to move. Search for a quiet hideaway where you can all rest and relax after a hard day's work.More