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Rave reviews of BPO season opener

We were delighted to welcome Alexandra Dariescu to Brighton for the opening concert of our new season at Brighton Dome on Sunday, conducted by Barry Wordsworth, and what a tremendous performance!

5 stars from The Argus – the first review of Sunday’s concert to appear was by Louise Schweitzer (who also had the pleasure of interviewing Alexandra immediately before the concert). Read her review here: http://www.theargus.co.uk/leisure/critic/15584152.Review__Brighton_Philharmonic_Orchestra__Brighton_Dome__October_8________________/

More praise followed for the Brighton Phil​, Barry Wordsworth and Alexandra from Susan Elkin who reviewed Sunday’s concert​ for Lark Reviews – read it here: http://www.larkreviews.co.uk/?cat=3

And for The Latest Belinda Greenhalgh wrote the following glowing review: https://thelatest.co.uk/brighton/2017/10/11/brighton-philharmonic-orchestra-alexandra-dariescu-piano-barry-wordsworth-conductor/

Phil Dennett‘s review for The District Post is entitled “Dazzling Alexandra gives season great start” and can be viewed on page 17 of this link: https://issuu.com/thedistrictpost/docs/20171013

Our final review will be published in the Mid Sussex Times next week, and is by Chris Francis who writes:

“The only disappointment about Sunday’s stunning opening concert in the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra’s 93rd season was that there were such a surprising number of empty seats at the Dome.

Those who could have filled those seats certainly missed out on a real treat served up by conductor laureate Barry Wordsworth and his wonderful orchestra, who on this occasion were supplemented magnificently by the prodigious piano talent of Alexandra Dariescu.

The young Romanian was one of the top 30 under 30s world-wide to be tipped for a spectacular career by International Piano Magazine and is rapidly justifying that lofty tag. And her talents are not limited solely to the keyboard as she is also responsible for her own production of The Nutcracker and I, a ground-breaking multimedia performance created for piano solo with dance and digital animation.

Her relaxed and uninhibited performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 should have come as no surprise from one who last year recorded the same piece and it contributed hugely to a truly memorable start to the BPO season.

The choice of programme is largely the tried and tested big works but there has been an attempt to intersperse that with a little of the less widely known and on this occasion that was provided by Schumann’s overture to his only opera Genoveva. Wordsworth suggested this was the first time some -if not all – the orchestra had ever played the piece.

It provided a tasty hors d’oeuvre to the more substantial Tchaikovsky before the second half was devoted to another mighty work in  Brahms’ Symphony No 3.

If that was not enough to boost ticket sales, then perhaps the second concert on Sunday November 12 (Remembrance Sunday) may have greater appeal with its emphasis on the quintessentially English. Bach’s Tocatta and Fugue (arranged by Stokowski) bucks the trend before Britten’s Violin Concerto, Butterworth’s A Shropshire Lad and Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No 4.”

The appreciative audience relished the opportunity to meet Alexandra during the interval and thanks to Brighton Phil volunteers Penny & Malcolm Crawley for helping her with her CD signing.

After the concert Friends of the Phil wrote to us saying:

I just wanted to thank you for a stunning concert yesterday, the lovely Alexandra D in the Tchaikovsky 1 was fab. But the performing of the Brahms 3rd was exceptional, a favourite of mine for more than 50 years I have never heard a better performance. Very many thanks.” Richard Cooper

Fabulous Tchaikovsky Sunday, thanks. One of my favourite pieces and played at the first concert I attended as a teenager in London.” Sarah Tobias

David Gerrard, the BPO’s photographer, said: “Loved the concert. Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 is one of my favourites and was the first classical music record I ever bought. Some people (including my old music teacher) are a bit snobby about Tchaikovsky but I love his music. Wonderful performance – it gave me goose bumps!

Whilst BHPS Chairman Nicolas Chisholm said: “The concert was a magnificent start to the season and it was a treat to hear the Tchaikovsky which I haven’t heard live for many years. Congratulations all on a wonderful concert.”

Other comments about our guest soloist on our Facebook page included:

Sensational! Played with consummate ease and full of joy.” John Bruzon

Agree John, in four decades or so of attending concerts I cannot remember an artist play so passionately, with such humanity, and look like she was enjoying herself so much. Pity there is no DVD. I doubt anyone will see a better performance of this piece at the Dome.” Phil Dennett

The soloist, Alexandra Dariescu was truly fabulous.” John Trussler

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