Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article
Friday 17 May 2013

Btn Fest Review - Veronika Eberle Stole The Show As BBC Symphony Orchestra Brought A Touch Of Class To Brighton Dome

Was Veronika Eberle Playing Mendelssohn or was Mendelssohn playing Veronika Eberle? (BBC Symphony Orchestra at Dome Concert Hall, Brighton).



Like a woman possessed, in her bright blue bell beau ball-gown, all Moira Shearer in 'Red Shoes', Eberle was like some crazed marionette of the music, it was as if the violin solo, memorised in her head by months of practice, was controlling her -and not the other way around- as if it were some demonic puppet master bent on her destruction.

Like some crazed jazzman her instrument seemed to move her body, pushing and pulling at it as if all life had passed into this wooden thing and her body was its plaything, its extension. 

On and on and on she went, her body, even when not playing, swayed to the music, her eyes tight shut and her all immersed in the music like something from tales of ancient Druidic herbs or the Oracular Pythoness swaying to Greek Delphic temple fumes. 

Never manic always poised, yet still under the direct spell of the music, without doubt she stole this concert right out from under the noses of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (just). 


This rendition of Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto E minor was a fine and passionate affair, the orchestra strings all moving together, cello-arms see sawing across and back in sea-saw waves of bows that flowed like the winds across the stormy sea that fronts this city. 

The BBCSO were in full flight last night and no mistake.

The evening started out with the Adagio (Symphony no. 2) by Klaus Amadeus Hartmann. 

As a German who lived in the 1930s and 1940s, Hartmann trod the line without being tainted by fascism or communism, writing work condemning the events in Dachau concentration camp, but later staying in Germany yet remaining silent to avoid an untimely death. 

Likewise his music has defied categorisation, he never adhered to any one school of music or movement, but reinvented his style with each new work. 


This was a powerful and disturbing work, not the kind of music to nod off quietly to either.

Brahms' Symphony No.4 in E Minor finished the evening off well. 

The original arrangement for two pianos was described by the critic Eduard Hanslick as 'being beaten over the head by two clever men'. Funny, that reminds me of an Apparat concert I went to recently.

This is not one of my favourites but it was still well worth a listen by an orchestra who seemed to draw only the best from it. 

Proceedings were conducted by the chirpy James Gaffigan who was born in 1979, the year I grew up and as such makes feel very, very old indeed.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra were  wonderful guests at the Dome Concert hall last night. 

They are yet more proof, not only of the consistently high quality of the classical concerts this Festival has hosted, but how damn lucky we are to have one at all.

There were empty seats in the Dome Concert Hall last night and there should not have been. 

If you missed this then you missed out.

Brighton Festival continues throughout this month. See brightonfestival.org for more details.


by: Howard Young (Arts Editor)


   

Local resident  and comedian Jim Moir (better known as Vic Reeves), wife Nancy and daughters Lizzy and Nellie, had a wild experience in South Africa recently, when they flew out to the Shamwari Game Reserve with international wildlife charity, The Born Free Foundation.
After twenty years in Everything But The Girl, and ten years as a respected DJ and record label boss of Buzzin' Fly, Ben Watt announced last year he was parking everything to complete two long-planned creative solo projects. 

Bradley Wiggins will defend his title and compete in this year's Tour of Britain cycle race, which arrives in Brighton on 13th September.
The International Ocean Film Festival at Brighton Dome originates from the team behind the Banff Mountain Film Festival and  promises a sublime cinematic journey above and below the waves.
The city's teachers may have been officially off duty from their classrooms for the past six weeks, but many of them have been keeping themselves busy by volunteering their time over the summer for Young City Reads, Brighton's citywide reading initiative for primary school children.
Former England Rugby Sevens captain and Brighton College pupil, Ollie Phillips is encouraging people to tackle dementia by signing up to Alzheimer's Society's Brighton and Hove Memory Walk on 4th October.
Brighton singer Jo Harman has won the Female Vocalist of the Year at the British Blues Awards. She was nominated as one of the finalists by a wide ranging committee of industry experts, with the final decision going to public vote.
There are artists who are independent in the music industry sense, and artists who are independent in mind, spirit and the sheer bloody-mindedness with which they've made something of themselves. Nell Bryden fits both descriptions, and has the stories to prove it.
There was nothing Kate Bush about Lee Evans' return to Brighton, on Tuesday night (26th August). His was a simple set design; no fish heads, no flying and no song cycles. 
John Cooper Clarke's biting, satirical, political and very funny verse, delivered in a uniquerapid-fire performance style, resonated with the punk movement of the late 1970s.
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