Belfast Telegraph

Dazzling Saturday gala closes Clandeboye Festival

Review: Clandeboye Festival, Clandeboye Estate

The air of youthful enthusiasm and skill of the orchestra, allied to the collective experience of Douglas and Collins as seasoned international soloists, made for an engaging blend in the packed Great Hall (stock photo)
The air of youthful enthusiasm and skill of the orchestra, allied to the collective experience of Douglas and Collins as seasoned international soloists, made for an engaging blend in the packed Great Hall (stock photo)
Alf McCreary

By Alf McCreary

This year's highly successful Clandeboye Festival ended with a dazzling gala performance on Saturday night featuring three conductors, three pianists, two concertos and JS Bach.

The Camerata Ireland Orchestra accompanied pianist Finghin Collins in Mozart's Piano Concerto in F K459 under the direction of Barry Douglas, and the roles were reversed in the next piece - Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 2, played by Douglas and conducted by Collins, with its familiar ending. This was a good example of the collegiality which characterises the Clandeboye Festival, now in its 18th year.

The air of youthful enthusiasm and skill of the orchestra, allied to the collective experience of Douglas and Collins as seasoned international soloists, made for an engaging blend in the packed Great Hall.

The intimacy of the hall itself added a special quality to the sound, which seemed more akin to the settings of the original scores rather than the large concert halls of today.

The second half consisted of an impressive performance of JS Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No 5, with soloists Eimer McGeown, flute; Elina Vahala, violin; and the dynamic Daria van den Berken as pianist and director, sensitively accompanied by the Camerata - all of which produced a memorable end to a gem of a summer evening.

Many people deserve great credit for the continued success of this festival, and not least Lady Dufferin and the redoubtable and talented festival director Barry Douglas himself. Bravo to all concerned.

Belfast Telegraph

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