Belfast Telegraph

Review: Epic piece in safe hands of Ulster Orchestra

 

By Alf McCreary

The Ulster Orchestra reached a landmark in its 53-year history with the performance of the epic Fourth Symphony by Shostakovich in the Waterfront Hall.

It featured 100 musicians, including a number of guest players from Holland, the Czech Republic and other parts of the UK.

It was the Belfast debut of this mighty masterpiece, completed in 1936. However, due to repression by Stalin, it was not premiered until 1961.

Given the vast scope of this symphony and the requirement for such a large orchestra, it was a rare treat to hear this music live in Belfast and it is unlikely it will be repeated here soon.

It is a massive work, and infinitely complex even by the standards of Shostakovich, but it was in safe hands under the visionary direction of the Ulster Orchestra's music director Rafael Payare.

Belfast Telegraph

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