City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Romantic Age, Usher Hall, Review

By Barbara Bryan - Posted on 12 October 2012

Veronika Eberle
Show Details
The Usher Hall
Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Robin Ticciati (conductor), Veronika Eberle (violin), Members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Running time: 

The theme of this Scottish Chamber Orchestra concert was the Romantic Age, a period in history when Europe was adapting to tumultuous events that had taken place at the turn of the nineteenth century, and the composers in this programme all contributed to the Romantic movement.

The concert began with Berlioz's King Lear Overture (Le Roi Lear), based on Shakespeare’s King Lear. Berlioz wrote the Overture soon after he was dumped by his fiancée for someone else, and the turbulence prevalent in the composition mirrors not only Berlioz emotions but also those of King Lear who ultimately has to confront his folly.

There is a preponderance of brass, a hallmark of Berlioz compositions, and in the Overture there were an additional four brass players, including two ‘natural’horns which are particularly difficult to play but the musicians excelled themselves. Ticciati brings out the best in the players and skillfully conducted the various subtle musical nuances that pervade the composition and the players created a thrilling rendition of this emotionally charged composition.

Next on the programme was Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, opus 64 – his last orchestral work. Veronika Eberle was the soloist who despite being only twenty-four has already played with some of the top orchestras in the world. And one can understand why. She is an exceptional player and gave a breathtaking performance.

Her expert subtle intonation in the pianissimo passages was superb and you couldn’t hear a pin drop in the packed auditorium when she played the cadenza in the first movement. It was the best performance I have ever heard of this concerto and there is no doubt she will soon become one of the world’s top violinists.

The final piece was Beethoven’s Symphony No 3 ‘Eroica’. Beethoven had originally planned to dedicate the work to Napoleon, whom he greatly admired, but the politics of the time changed his decision. Like the Berlioz overture, this Symphony also displays the turbulent emotions Beethoven was experiencing at the time and Ticciati highlighted this by conducting the piece at a terrific pace and the superlative playing of the horns featured in the third movement.

It is a challenge for a chamber orchestra to perform a symphonic work but it is to the musicians' credit, and Ticciati’s accomplished conducting, that they succeeded in producing a great symphonic sound.

Show times

Friday 12th October – City Hall, Glasgow


£13 - £27 (concessions available)