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Maestro Pavare wields magic baton

Review: Ulster Orchestra Ulster Hall

By Alf McCreary

The Ulster Orchestra’s star chief conductor Rafael Pavare continued his Beethoven cycle with a sparkling performance of the Eighth Symphony yesterday.

The lunchtime concerts have been a popular feature of the recent orchestral seasons, and a sizeable audience turned out to hear one of the world’s best young conductors guide the ensemble through a programme which included two familiar works.

The concert began with a lively interpretation of Mozart’s overture to The Marriage Of Figaro, which was just  right for a sunny afternoon.

It was followed by Colin Matthews’ Grand Barcarolle, a commission from the  late Claudio Abbado and the famed  Leipzig  Gewandhaus Orchestra to write  a slow movement to celebrate the bicentenary of the completion of Beethoven’s Eighth. This was an interesting and very clever piece, but much more Matthews than Beethoven. It was exciting, however, to join Pavare and the orchestra in their performance of  Beethoven’s Eighth — rather like a ride in a musical Mercedes on a clear road with  one of the world best young drivers in charge.

Pavare will conduct the orchestra tomorrow in Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony — a concert not to be missed.

Four stars

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