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King's Lynn Festival Review: The Halle Orchestra




Review: The Halle Orchestra, King's Lynn Corn Exchange

The Halle Orchestra with Conductor Stephen Bell and piano soloist Joseph Moog got the festival off to an exciting and rousing start with a grand orchestral concert, including in it’s first half famous American music by Bernstein, Copland and Gershwin and in the second ,Walton’s Henry V Suite (music from the classic film with Sir Laurence Olivier) and Vaughan Williams ‘Wasps’ Overture and Norfolk Rhapsody No. 1.

The Halle has regularly visitedLynn in the past, notably with Sir John Barbirolli.

The Norfolk Rhapsody, Vaughan William’s first mature orchestral work, contains tunes interwoven within the piece collected from King’s Lynn folk in 1905, most notably The Captain’s Apprentice. The piece was first performed at London’s Queen Hall in 1906 under the baton of Sir Henry Wood.

Halle Orchestra (3104705)
Halle Orchestra (3104705)

The Norfolk Rhapsody, Vaughan William’s first mature orchestral work, contains tunes interwoven within the piece collected from King’s Lynn folk in 1905, most notably The Captain’s Apprentice. The piece was first performed at London’s Queen Hall in 1906 under the baton of Sir Henry Wood.

Two other Norfolk Rhapsodies were composed but were not so highly regarded. It was appropriate to hear this music, inspired locally at the festival, especially in such a sensitive and atmospheric performance with superb solo work from the musicians.

The Suite from Walton’s Henry V film music and Wasps Overture was simply a joy to hear, all moods captured with fine orchestral playing.

It was enjoyable hearing a rhythmical and robust performance of Bernstein’s On the Town dance episodes in his centenary year , (he was born in 1918), and the Billy the Kid Suite by Aaron Copland was executed with panache (even musical gunfire is included in the piece!). The conductor assured us there was no connection with the choice of programme and a certain American presidential visit!

Lastly, the young, talented soloist , Joseph Moog, gave a sparkling account of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (arr. Grofe) and as an encore his arrangement of the song S’Wonderful. The evening’s star conductor, Stephen Bell and The Halle sent us out into the night in high spirits with Eric Coate’s Dambusters March.

Andy Tyler.



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