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Review: Orchestra adds sparkle to occasion


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'The Fidelio, and the Symphony No 27 by his contemporary Haydn, were certainly sparkling enough to match the winter sunshine lighting up the hall' (stock photo)

'The Fidelio, and the Symphony No 27 by his contemporary Haydn, were certainly sparkling enough to match the winter sunshine lighting up the hall' (stock photo)

'The Fidelio, and the Symphony No 27 by his contemporary Haydn, were certainly sparkling enough to match the winter sunshine lighting up the hall' (stock photo)

The first Ulster Hall lunchtime concert of 2020 began appropriately with Beethoven's Overture Fidelio to mark the 250th anniversary of his birth.

Under the baton of the distinguished German conductor Christian Reif, the Ulster Orchestra performed works titled 'Sparkling Symphonies'.

The Fidelio, and the Symphony No 27 by his contemporary Haydn, were certainly sparkling enough to match the winter sunshine lighting up the hall.

However the Stravinsky Symphony in C was somewhat weightier, though with its own sparkle - especially in the first movement. This challenging piece requires the utmost concentration from the conductor and players alike, and maestro Reif expertly guided the large ensemble through an illuminating performance.

Overall this was a lunchtime treat for music-lovers in one of the finest concert halls in Europe - yes, our own Ulster Hall!

Belfast Telegraph