Review: Beauty of Bach brought out by expert
Ulster Orchestra, Ulster Hall, Friday
The progress of the Ulster Orchestra under the leadership of its outgoing music director Rafael Payare can be judged by the sheer range and quality of its latest concert in the Ulster Hall.
The first half was devoted to Webern's orchestral arrangement of JS Bach's six-voice Ricercar and Payare directed this piece expertly to bring out all its inherent beauty, with some fine playing by the orchestra.
The second half consisted of Brahms' powerful Fourth Symphony which under Payare and an inspired orchestra was arguably one of the best local performances of this masterpiece in recent years.
It was crisp and clear, tender and passionate, and building up to a wonderful statement about the joy of outstanding classical music. No wonder Payare and his players received such a warm reception.