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PHILIP KEY ARTS DIARY: MUSIC RLPO/Bostock Philharmonic Hall.

Byline: Glyn Mn Hughes

INVENTIVE programming might have been the benchmark by which the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra judged its competitors in the past.

In recent years, however, this has not always been so apparent. The result, it must be said, could be an audience anaesthetised to the challenges of new or unfamiliar music.

How wonderful, therefore, to listen to the electrifying Fifth Symphony of Nielsen, conducted by the enviably energetic Douglas Bostock, who embarked on a project to record the complete cycle of symphonies with the RLPO.

That relationship is obviously paying off. For here he was conducting the challenging, almost terrifying Fifth Symphony. He made it a real shift from the gloomy depths of darkness to a glorious revelation.

The RLPO strings responded, on the whole, admirably, as did the percussion, as always called upon to set the scene - but all the more so in this work.

The clarity with which the fugues in the second movement were worked was exemplary.

Another extended great moment was Jonathan Small's interpretation of Vaughan Williams's Oboe Concerto. At once wistful and soul searching, Small's interpretation felt at one with the will of the composer.

The opening performance of Beethoven's Eighth Symphony could have been equated with red wine: rich, deep and varied, full of colour and seldom something to disappoint. Bostock brought out a real energy in this piece.

The delicacy of string phrasing in the second movement surely compensated for a slight feeling of lopsidedness in the minuet.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 14, 2002
Words:248
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