Magazine article Musical Opinion

Halle Open Their New Season at the Bridgewater Hall

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Halle Open Their New Season at the Bridgewater Hall

Article excerpt

To open their new Season at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall on 28 September, the Halle Orchestra blew off the cobwebs with a blast of the familiar. From the tone of the post Interval address, which appealed to any newcomers in the above average audience count to keep coming, the main intention of the rather safe new Season seems to be to court a wider audience and boost attendances.

Conductor Paavo Berglund directed an interesting performance of Richard Strauss' Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, in which the brash horns clearly enjoyed themselves. Cleverly conceived crescendi peaked unexpectedly delicious musical raspberries and the forceful tenor and side-drums for the Court scene were all highlights which compensated for an occasional laboured sense of momentum.

Sibelius's single movement Seventh Symphony was given an inspired reading by Berglund, who was helped considerably by a sumptuous unity right across the string section. In this reading he allowed the composer's continuous reworking and developments of the material to emerge gradually from which the subsequent tension benefited tremendously. …

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