Matinée Series 2 : Voila Viola!

Saturday 4 August, 5:00 pm and Sunday 5 August 2018, 3:00 pm
King’s and Queen’s Performing Arts Centre

Richard Davis Conductor
Tim Deighton Viola

BrittenSimple Symphony
CoplandAppalachian Spring Suite
Anthony RitchieViola Concerto No. 2
(world première)
TchaikovskySerenade for Strings 


A brilliantly designed programme was performed with perfect empathy for melodic line and phrasing and attention to detail by the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra along with guest violist Tim Deighton and under the inspired leadership of Richard Davis.

The stamping and cheering from the packed auditorium of the King’s and Queen’s Performing Arts Centre was rewarded with an encore – Barber’s solemn and beautiful Adagio for Strings Op 11 – which proved a perfect ending to a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

It’s a special pleasure to hear new works bookended by its historic peers giving the audience the wonderful opportunity to be charmed by 20th-century romanticism.

The headline work of the evening has to be the world premier of Anthony Ritchie’s latest work Viola Concerto No 2 Op 197. We can be rightly proud to have such talent in our midst. The highly original work which stretches the tonal idiom, is performed without pause.

It opens with lyric cascades of intense beauty which melt away as the tension edges in. This tension continues to build without ever regaining its first glimpse at comfort. There is lovely understated conversation between violist Tim Deighton and the orchestra’s section leaders.

A breathtaking work, performed with superb understanding. We look forward to hearing it again.

The evening opened with Britten’s Simple Symphony. A deceptively difficult work with its extended pizzicato movement which tested the orchestra. They were much more at home with Britten’s wit and speed.

Copland’s Appalachian Spring performed in its original orchestration for strings is delightful. Its rhythms and angular melodic lines were strikingly highlighted by some truly inspired balletic conducting.

The slow movement of Tchaikovsky’s well-known and loved Serenade for Strings seemed to drag, making the work slightly too long but the other movements were played excellently.

Review by Marian Poole, Otago Daily Times, 6 August 2018

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