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)


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Since its launch in 2013, SoundCity: Brighton & Hove has swiftly become one of the most revered Music Education Hubs in the UK.  
Vic and Bob have announced their first tour since 1995! The tour, '25 Years of Reeves and Mortimer: The Poignant Years' will be a celebration of the first 25 years of their professional collaboration. 
Brighton Dome and Chestnut Tree House have around 200 exclusive donated artworksfrom celebrities and artists now available on eBay until 7pm on Sunday 8th March. 
First of its kind, UK based digital-social platform ourscreen aims to support the great work being done in cinemas across the country by empowering film fans and local communities to create and attend screenings at their local cinema. 
Brighton University graduate and local resident Melanie Smith has launched a new company dedicated to sharing a love of storytelling with parents and children. 
Bob Dylan will have a vibrant selection of his art on show in Brighton in a retrospective exhibition that brings together works released annually from 2008 to 2014, all from his critically-acclaimed collection: The Drawn Blank Series
The south's top music festival, Reading, has confirmed The Libertines as the final of this year's Main Stage headliners!  
Brighton & Hove City Council is set to become the first local authority in Britain to commission a Housing First project to tackle street homelessness and stop the revolving door of rehabilitation, hostel and street.
The new Brighton Trans*formed website is now up-and-running. Designed by Melanie Menard, the site features photographs and the full interview transcripts that formed the basis of the much praised book of the same name. 
The Fretful Federation is a community orchestra of players from Brighton and the surrounding areas playing all manner of fretted instruments, including mandolins, mandolas, mandocello, mandobass and classical guitars.
WhaleFest, the world's biggest whale and dolphin festival, which attracts over 15,000 visitors from across the globe in just two days, will be held at The Brighton Centre after its rapid growth over the past few years.
'Color Runners' from across the UK are set to round off a summer of colour madness by returning back to Madeira Drive, Brighton, for the third time.
Brighton Festival - the largest and most established annual multi-arts festival in England - has launched with award-winning Scottish author Ali Smith as Guest Director. 
Following a total sell-out Edinburgh Fringe 2014 run, one of comedy's elder statesmen and all-round arty mischief-maker heads to Brighton Dome this spring with a comedy of betrayal. 

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