The Firebird Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Usher Hall, Review

Rating (out of 5)
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Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Elgar, Introduction and Allegro for Strings; Stravinsky, The London Firebird Orchestra Suite; Ravel, Concerto in G major; Respighi, Pines of Rome.
Peter Oundjian (conductor), Steven Osborne (piano)
Running time

In what can be known as Music Director's Pride, his Principal string players with Aleksei Kiseliov in front came on stage in front of Peter Oundjian. In front of the rest of the strings of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra they played the solo parts in Edward Elgar's fast moving but utterly comforting Introduction and Allegro for Strings.

The concert moved to fairly tale music with one of the orchestral suites, the second, which Stravinsky created from his ballet music for Diaghilev's The Firebird. It built up to the Infernal Dance when in the ballet the firebird cast its spell and then followed the long induced sleep introduced by the bassoon.

Scotland's Steven Osborne gave us an interesting insight into Ravel's Piano Concerto when in discussion with Katherine Wren, the viola player, in the upper circle bar beforehand. He told us how infrequently it was performed in France and how extraordinary it was that Ravel was able to compose two totally different piano works at the same time. The other his Left Hand Concerto. It was fascinating to experience Peter Oundjian's interpretation of the French music and thoroughly satisfying to watch Steven Osborne's skill. Steven told us to guess what he played as an encore.

The concert ended with Respighi's Pines of Rome with organ and four trumpet players and two trombone players in the choir stalls nearby. One of the trumpeters had first been outside the hall - in the far distance. In the third movement in the moonlit pines the clarinet was accompanied by real recorded bird song. An interesting if not overwhelming evening.

Concert: Friday 21st November 2014 at 7.30pm