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THE Philharmonic Season opens tomorrow night with Vasily Petrenko conducting Rachmaninov's 3rd Symphony, and Lukas Vondracek the soloist in the 2nd Piano Concerto of Liszt.

The concert opens with Stravinski's Symphony in three movements, an exciting angular orchestral showpiece not heard at Hope Street for some time. Then on Tuesday Midori plays the Violin Concerto of William Walton prior to taking it with the Orchestra to Bucharest.

But there is more to the Philharmonic Season than just Orchestral concerts.

The Rodewald Concert Series given at St George's Hall, has two outstanding groups of events. The Liverpool-born pianist Paul Lewis will continue his cycle of the piano music of Schubert on Sept 27 and March 26, and will be joined by tenor Mark Padmore in the song cycles Die Schone Mullerin (November 1) and Winterreise (February 7). These song cycles have recently been released by Harmonia Mundi to critical approval.

In addition throughout the winter the distinguished Belcea Quartet will be playing the complete cycle of String Quartets of Beethoven, another rare event on Merseyside. The season also includes world premieres of John McCabe's Horn Quintet by David Pyatt and the Sacconi Quartet and of Emily Howard's Clarinet Quintet with Nicholas Cox and the Danel Quartet - and there is a Mediaeval Christmas evening of dances and lullabies.

The contemporary music group Ensemble 10/10 holds its concerts at The Cornerstone, and during their season new works will be heard by Stephen Pratt and Graham Warner, an opera by Adam Gorb and commissions by Emily Howard, Ian Gardiner and Andrew Norman.

Clark Rundell conducts members of the RLPO in these concerts.

This year's family concerts feature a lot of film music and the lunchtime concerts see orchestra members appear in small groups.

The Youth Orchestra is presented by Alastair Molloy who this year entertain the visiting National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain under Paul Daniel with Natalie Klein on January 5. Finally there are the Christmas Carol concerts which this year are in the safe hands of John Suchet of Classic FM.

Speaking of broadcasting, I see a lobby group is complaining about the Radio 3 morning disc jockeys talking too much. I hope they will also focus on the presentation announcements of concerts which often sound as if they were written by bad advertising copywriters. Do we need to be told just how brilliant every artist and piece is? And do we have to have instant critiques afterwards, telling us it was the finest performance we have ever heard. Radio 3 (and BBC TV) don't oversell. Music speaks for itself.

Peter Spaull
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 9, 2011
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