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Chamber Philharmonia review: Standing ovation for talented chamber

St George's Church, Belfast

By Alf McCreary

The summer classical music scene in Belfast would not be the same without the annual visit from the Chamber Philharmonia from Cologne.

Its concert, before a large audience in St George's Church in High Street, marked the start of its Irish tour, and this highly-talented group justly received a standing ovation.

The Chamber Philharmonia Cologne is a world-travelled group which provides some 300 concerts a year, and its musical closeness was evident throughout this Belfast performance of works by Vivaldi, Paganini, Tchaikovsky and Mozart.

One of its strengths is to play classical standards and also less-familiar music, so instead of the much-featured Four Seasons, they performed two of Vivaldi's concertos, with violinist Sergey Didorenko and cellist Christoph Jahn blending superbly with their colleagues.

The suitably eccentric Witches Dance by Paganini produced a virtuoso performance by Didorenko, and cellist Jahn captured all the romanticism of Tchaikovsky's Pezzo Capriccioso. The highlight of the evening was Mozart's clarinet concerto, performed with immense confidence, panache and individuality by the youthful Roman Kushniarou, who also performed an engagingly jazzy encore.

This bright and enjoyable concert was the perfect antidote to a none-too-summery Belfast evening.

Four stars

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