King’s Lynn Festival review: Czech National Symphony Orchestra

Czech National Symphony Orchestra ANL-160421-114405001

Czech National Symphony Orchestra ANL-160421-114405001

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The final concert for this year’s King’s Lynn Festival could not have been better. Sadly Libor Pešek was unable to conduct due to an accident but his replacement Heiko Mathias Förster more than rose to the challenge at the Corn Exchange.

From the opening bars of the Overture to the Marriage of Figaro it was obvious that it would be a most enjoyable concert.

The Czech National Symphony Orchestra played superbly with a boundless energy demonstrating the fun of the opera that it was written for. Every little nuance in theharmonies was clear and precise as were the shades of texture.

The tour de force that is Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D-major was played by Alexander Sitkovetsky. Originally claimed to be unplayable, as are so many masterpieces that are now firm favourites, Alexander ‘s skill and dexterity were tested to the full. This was particularly evident in the extensive cadenza in the first movement where every note was concise no matter what the dynamic or whether double stopping and using the total extent of the finger board. The same quality continued throughout the concerto with excellent accompaniment from the orchestra.

Despite the demands of the work the delighted audience were keen for more and were rewarded with an impromptu Sarabande by Bach. This was a complete contrast to the vivacity of the concerto and the delicate touch was enchanting.

Dvořák’s Symphony in G-major concluded the concert and the orchestra again played magnificently, meeting the challenges set before them.

The conductor almost danced his way through the third movement such was the involvement in the music. It was unfortunate that the trumpet didn’t quite hold pitch at the beginning of the fourth movement but that’s such a minor misdemeanour in the overall effect that was created.

It’s rare to have two encores in one concert but that was the case tonight with a final reprise of a movement from the symphony. The audience was more than happy with the result.

Sheila Johnson