Belfast Telegraph

Waltzing off to the charm and beauty of Vienna greats

Viennese Concert. Millennium Forum, Londonderry

By Alf McCreary

The annual Viennese concert requires a skilful balance between old favourites, and less familiar music.

The old favourites were there a-plenty at the Waterfront — Die Fledermaus Overture, the Emperor Waltz, and the inevitable but enjoyable Blue Danube, with the Radetsky March, as ever, to round off the evening.

However there were several lesser-heard pieces, including the On Holiday Polka and the beautiful Snowdrop Waltz, which reminded this reviewer of seeing the first snowdrop of the year that day.

There was even Piazzola’s Libertango, danced somewhat sedately by the British and European Youth Latin Champions AJ Pritchard and Chloe Hewitt, and also of  recent Strictly Come Dancing Fame.

Their graceful dancing throughout the evening reminded us that the Viennese idiom is also dance music.

Celine Byrne lived up to her reputation as one of the best, perhaps the best, soprano in Ireland with familiar Viennese offerings including Sieczynski’s Vienna, City of My Dreams.

The colourful Christopher Bell dazzled the appreciative audience with his stunning changes of costume, and kept the entire show on the road with his deft use of the baton, and the right kind of patter to remind everyone that good music can also be fun.

The Ulster Orchestra returns  tomorrow with its first 2017 lunch-time concert, Hungarian Delights at the Ulster Hall (1.05pm)

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