Two years ago, I had the great pleasure of reviewing two concerts given by Torbay Symphony Orchestra (TSO) at the Ariel Centre, King Edward VI Community College, Totnes – or KEVICC, as it is usually referred to.
On that occasion, the two concerts were the culmination of the weekend’s masterclasses, talks, presentations, and open rehearsals, which featured concert-pianist and pedagogue Murray McLachlan, and three of his extremely talented children, where they performed all five Beethoven piano concertos across the two evenings, under the direction of TSO conductor Richard Gonski.
Later this year they will be holding another weekend, where, on this occasion, they will be taking audiences on a journey through the Romantic era.
The format will follow the previous weekend’s format, and the two evening concerts will take place on Saturday November 24 and Sunday November 25, both at 7.30pm at the same venue.
Once again TSO will be joined by professional soloists, and each concert will feature one of the big Romantic piano concertos.
Saturday’s programme presents Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, and Brahms’s epic four-movement Piano Concerto No 2, played by Irina Lyakhovskaya.
Sunday’s programme will surely delight not just Romantic piano concerto aficionados, but also lovers of vocal music with orchestral accompaniment. It opens with the Overture and Liebestod from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, before soprano Catherine Hamilton performs the exquisite Four Last Songs by Richard Strauss. Making sure the evening, and indeed the whole weekend end on a real high, Veronica Shoot is the soloist in Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2, arguably the best-loved in the entire repertoire.
Read more about Russian pianist Irina Lyakhovskaya. Veronica Shoot, of course, is no stranger to local audiences, having grown up at Dartington, before moving away to pursue a successful career in London. Plymouth-based Catherine Hamilton needs little introduction, as she frequently is heard as soloist with the leading choral societies in the area, and beyond.
Saturday November 24 – Sunday November 25 at the Ariel Centre, Totnes
Tickets are priced £15 per concert, £25 for both concerts, and £30 all weekend.
Students are half-price, and under-18s free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available from the TSO website at www.torbaysymphony.org or TSO booking line: 01803 865377.
A TSO spokesperson added: ‘Details and timings of masterclasses, etc. have yet to be confirmed, but we will be updating our Facebook page and website as soon as everything is finalised.’
This weekend of Romantic symphonic repertoire comes just at the right time, too, as Plymouth’s own Symphony Orchestra, which normally puts on a November concert, is making a departure from previous practice, by providing instead the orchestral accompaniment for Plymouth Philharmonic Choir’s performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius in Plymouth Guildhall, though, somewhat unfortunately, on the same Sunday evening, November 25.
Philip R Buttall
top image: TSO Romantic Weekend (Lyakhovskaya, Hamilton, Shoot above)
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