Once again the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra provided an interesting and challenging afternoon’s concert at Lynn’s Corn Exchange on Sunday, also producing some beautifully romantic music making a long the way!
The programme consisted of examples of the German Romantic Movement and included music by Schumann, Wagner, Brahms and Anton Webern. The Webern work, Five Pieces Opus 5, first performed in 1928, is an example of an atonal work , and the composer uses the musical language created originally by Arnold Schoenberg, the founder of the so-called Second Viennese School of composers.
This atonal style was developed as an antidote and move away from the Romantic movement which had culminated in the music of Richard Strauss and Wagner.
This music is not to all tastes, but full marks to the orchestra and musical director, Philip Hesketh, for giving us the opportunity to hear the piece and make up our own minds!
The orchestra also played the not-so-well-known Genoveva Overture by Robert Schumann, an appropriately hushed and poetic account of Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll, and Brahms Symphony No 1, the composer following on from the symphonic tradition of Beethoven (not an easy task).
The musical director’s occasional introductions to the pieces can be helpful when kept brief and, in my view, the orchestral playing was at it’s best in the quieter, more reflective passages, of which there were many examples.
The time of year no doubt contributed to extraneous audience sounds! I look forward to the NSO’s next concert in April which will include Strauss’s lovely Four Last Songs.