Kimichi Symphony Orchestra in Rimsky-Korsakov and Stravinsky


Elgar Hall, University of Birmingham ****
An enthusiastic but half empty house greeted the massive symphony orchestra on stage, conducted by Keith Slade
Just two pieces for an imaginative evening, challenges for instrumentalists of all ages with dancers truly highlighting the second half for Stravinsky's magical Firebird ballet.
Rimsky-Korsakov's colourful Scheherazade began with a fine hair-raising brass fanfare leading to lovely solo horn (after nerves settled).
Altogether the familiar show piece we have come to expect – although more overt passion would have helped from certain telling solo strands (i.e. leader Charlotte Moseley). Only one double bass was visible – the other five were totally hidden by a thick curtain. Disappointing balance from such as percussion at the very back. GO FOR IT, but match with sensitive discretion too! A very demanding work for all concerned.
A magical atmosphere for 28 year old Stravinsky's unique Firebird ballet was created by illuminated background curtains . . . red/green, ceiling to stage, simple but truly effective, simple costumes - whites and scarlet for obvious characters, grey for the wicked villain. Choreographer Francesca Andrews danced together with ten lively performers – a fine team throughout.
This is music which invades the soul however many times one is involved with it. One is truly haunted whether as a new beginner or a mature professional, or simply an enchanted listener. It is so special to see the ballet – the story melding with spellbinding sounds throughout any performance.
Maggie Cotton

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