Belfast Telegraph

Beethoven enjoys added Brio in Widmann’s clever overture

Ulster Orchestra, Ulster Hall Belfast

The Ulster Orchestra performs
The Ulster Orchestra performs
Alf McCreary

By Alf McCreary

This concert on International Women’s Day began with a fascinating pre-concert talk by three female players about being part of the orchestra.

Beethoven featured strongly in the programme, but the composer was all but hidden in a clever piece titled Con Brio by German clarinettist and composer Jorg Widmann.

It is an overture composed from notes in Beethoven’s Symphonies 6 and 7. They may have been the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order.

The Ulster Orchestra played them rather better than Eric Morecambe in his spoof with the late Andre Previn.

Widman’s piece was amazing but Beethoven does Beethoven better, as maestro Raphael Payare and the Ulster Orchestra demonstrated superbly in the ground-breaking Seventh Symphony, to sustained applause.

The other major highlight was the young German soloist Veronika Eberle, who played Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with exceptional aplomb and technicality, and gave a Prokofiev encore as well.

This was another remarkable evening of music-making, with a packed audience showing its appreciation yet again.

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