Belfast Telegraph

Review: American fanfare is a fitting farewell

By Alf McCreary

The final lunchtime concert under the baton of the Ulster Orchestra's outgoing principal conductor, the New York-based JoAnn Falletta, was fittingly a tribute to the music of the US.

This week's performance in the Ulster Hall opened with the Aaron Copland's well-known Fanfare For The Common Man, which was played with the precision, focus and musicality that is the hallmark of the Ulster Orchestra.

One of the highlights was the baritone Ben McAteer, who hails from Newry, in a setting of Copland's Old American Songs and notably the Gospel hymn At The River, with the refrain Shall We Gather At The River?

The orchestra was superb in John Adams' difficult and memorable The Chairman Dances, and the concert ended with the sparkling Candide by Leonard Bernstein – one of Ms Falletta's former teachers in New York.

Her final concert as principal conductor takes place tonight in the Ulster Hall at 7.30pm.

Four stars

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