Yesterday evening I rounded off a busy week with yet another visit to St David’s Hall in Cardiff for another in their international concert series featuring visiting orchestras.
This time it was the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra, under conductor Yutaka Sado.
They opened their programme with a piece which has been a favourite of mine since I first heard it as a schoolboy, the Hebrides Overture by Felix Mendelssohn, s piece which is evocative of the changing moods and colours of the sea.
The orchestra was then joined by star piano soloist Angela Hewitt in the first half for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, which she played with her customary poise and precision to rapturous applause from the audience. We even got an encore, in the form of a short solo piece by Bach (the composer with whose music her name is most closely associated). I couldn’t quite place it, but it might have been from one of the English suites, no Welsh suites being available.
After the break it was time for another very popular classic, the Symphony No. 9 by Antonín Dvořák (“From the New World”). It may be a well-known piece, but the performance was very fresh and invigorating. We got an encore in the second half too: the exuberant overture to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.
It was rather conservative programme, perhaps, but hugely enjoyable nevertheless. These pieces are old favourites because they’re good, and stand up well to repeated listening especially when played by a top-notch orchestra like the Vienna Tonkünstler!Follow @telescoper