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Byline: Peter Spaull

IN YORKSHIRE, they call these days after Boxing Day T' Back End. No wonder they get depressed. Better to look forward, and this is the ideal day to mark the musical attractions of the New Year in and around Merseyside.

A fine night of oldfashioned music making is promised at the Phil on January 12 and 13.

Mozart's Prague and Haydn's Surprise Symphonies make fine bookends to a concert under Italian conductor Ottavio Dantone, with Italian soprano Desiree Rancatore the soloist in Mozart's Exultate Jubilate and a Rossini aria, preceded by his Thievish Magpie overture - masterpieces indeed! On February 3, conductor Andrew Litton takes to the keyboard for a Classic FM favourite, Finzi's Eclogue for piano and orchestra, while, on March 10, Claus Peter Flor, now in charge of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, conducts the Brahms German Requiem preceded by Brahms and Strauss songs, sung by Inge Dam-Johnson, an interesting piece of programme planning.

On April 10, Canadian Helene Grimaud will be a big attraction, playing a Mozart Piano Concerto with Petrenko reprising Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony.

Vasily gives us another evening with the European Opera Centre in Mendelssohn's opera, The Wedding of Comacho, April 9, and four days later he has Alban Gerhardt, soloist in Don Quixote, of Strauss.

Two notable visitors in May are the Danish conductor Thomas Dausgaard, with his compatriot Nielsen's symphony, and later the brilliant young violinist, Alina Ibragimova, is soloist in a Mozart Concerto with Petrenko adding Mahler's massive 7th symphony.

The Rodewald Society, at St George's Hall, has Paul Lewis setting out on a cycle of Schubert Piano Sonatas in March and April, and the Ebene and Elias Quartets visit in May and June.

Hoylake Chamber Concert Society has the Henschel Quartet playing Mozart and Schubert on January 21 at Westbourne Hall, West Kirby, and cellist Stephanie Oade plays sonatas by Boccherini, Mendelssohn, Barber and Grieg on February 25.

Liverpool Mozart Orchestra has Jiafeng Chen playing the Sibelius Violin Concerto at Pacific Road, Birkenhead, with Mark Heron conducting Sibelius's 3rd Symphony and Elgar and Delius on February 12.

Looking farther afield, Theatr Clwyd Sunday night series has the Vienna Piano Trio on February 20, with Mozart and Dvorak, the St Petersburg Quartet in March in Beethoven and Dvorak, and clarinetist Emma Johnson and the Piatti Quartet at the end of May.

Finally, we look at Chester, where Alastair Molloy takes his skills as a children's presenter in concerts for Juniors at the Hammond School with the Chester Philharmonic Orchestra, under Stephen Threlfall, on March 5. They return to Chester Cathedral in April with Haydn and Beethoven symphonies.

Chester Music Society has the Fujita Piano Trio at St Mary's on January 12, Piers Lane giving a piano recital on February 9, and the Finzi String Quartet on March 9. And there are the regular Thursday lunchtime organ recitals in Chester Cathedral and Tuesday recitals in the Wesleyan Church, St John's Street.

Peter Spaull
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 31, 2010
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