Russian treat by Wolsey Orchestra

THIS year's winter concert by the Wolsey Orchestra had a Russian theme. Calling it Russian Legends, the orchestra turned up trumps this time with one of their most enlightening and interesting concert programmes.

THIS year's winter concert by the Wolsey Orchestra had a Russian theme.

Calling it Russian Legends, the orchestra turned up trumps this time with one of their most enlightening and interesting concert programmes.

The music was a mixture of familiar and less familiar works by Russian composers, all written within a thirty-year period - 1880 and 1910.

The most ”familiar” work was Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto which will always draw a good-sized audience, but there was the added interest this time of a local soloist.

Erdem Misirlioglu was born and brought up in Ipswich, and has been educated at Northgate High School. Now in his final year there, he has already made a name for himself in international piano competitions.

And he is one of the four finalists in the piano category of the BBC Young Musician 2008 Competition to be held in Cardiff in two weeks' time.

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He has an impressive technique, and a quality of interpretation quite outstanding for an 18-year-old. He is an exciting young prospect who should go far as a piano soloist.

The Firebird is probably Stravinsky's best-known ballet and the orchestra were playing the suite the composer arranged from the full score of 1919.

From the sober opening movement, through the gentle Round Dance of the Princesses , the ferocious, demonic Infernal Dance of King Katschei to the sweeping, triumphant Finale - initiated by the solo horn- this was playing of the highest order under a new guest conductor - William Carslake.

The other two works were by another great Russian composer, Rimsky-Korsakov, whose centenary of his death falls this year.

The Russian Easter Festival Overture, and the suite form his opera, The Snow Maiden, show the composer's talent as a master-orchestrator, and there were some fine individual instrumental contributions from several of the orchestra's principal players here.

DAVID RUDDOCK

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