Magazine article Musical Opinion

Hallé Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Hallé Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall

Article excerpt

Rounding off their flagship series, Mark Elder conducted the Halle Orchestra in a mixed programme at the Bridgewater Hall on 17 May. Instead of a single large scale work Elder chose to have two shorter pieces framed by Mozart and Haydn Symphonies.

They opened with a tidy, at times spirited, but in truth quite ordinary performance of Mozart's Symphony No 34 in C, K338, then, easily the most intriguing work, Heinz Karl Gruber's 2002 Dancing in the Dark. With a huge orchestra, including a quartet of Wagner Tubas, this promised to be something on the lighter side land the opening gave a hint of what was to come. Sounding like a drunkard being thrown into an alley full of dustbins from a seedy nightclub, the initial cacophony gave way to deep, sonorous harmonies and it was this pattern that dominated the first movement. A honey smooth section for just the strings, Janet Simpsons agility in jumping between Celesta and Piano, and a swinging percussion rhythm on a box hit by the ends to two severed witch's brooms, provided other highlights before a considerable increase in volume in the final movement ended the fun. …

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