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Review - 21st Anniversary Concert at Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Birmingham | News | Published:

It seems hardly the bat of an eyelid since Simon Rattle and the CBSO officially opened Symphony Hall in 1991 and both he and the orchestra have gone on to achieve great critical success ever since.

21st Anniversary Concert

Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Concert review by Jerald Smith

It seems hardly the bat of an eyelid since Simon Rattle and the CBSO officially opened Symphony Hall in 1991 and both he and the orchestra have gone on to achieve great critical success ever since.

This anniversary celebration provided a dazzling display of talent, most notably from Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel who showed how a gifted performer can work an audience.

He began with a swaggering version of the Toreador Song form Bizet's Carmen and followed with Udite, Udite, O Rustica from Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore which extracted the maximum amount of humour from the aria.

In contrast Chris Hazell's arrangement of four Folk Songs from the British Isles caught the flavour of each one precisely, especially the plaintive The Turtle Dove.

In his final item, the Te Deum from Puccini's Tosca, Mr Terfel slipped easily into the one of the most dramatic and evil roles in opera and demonstrated just how well and how quickly he can get into character.

In the opening half the CBSO and Chorus gave a stirring account of Elgar's The Music Makers.

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