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Britten-Shostakovich Festival Orchestra review

MORE EXUBERANCE NEEDED FROM THESE RUSSIAN-BRITISH YOUNGSTERS

BRITTEN-SHOSTAKOVICH FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA
Symphony Halll ★★★★

During the Cold War a friendship was struck up between Dmitri Shostakovich and Benjamin Britten which is marked in the name of this new youth orchestra made up of students from conservatoires in the United Kingdom and Russia. This was their UK debut under British conductor Jan Latham-K├Ânig, who works in Russia. The theme of Anglo-Russian musical friendship was fittingly represented by pianist Pavel Kolesnikov – Siberian born but a Benjamin Britten Piano Fellow domiciled in London. His wonderfully sensitive performance of Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini eschewed virtuoso razzmatazz and egregious flashiness and reminded us that so much of the soloist's part, while requiring immense dexterity, is delicate and restrained. The famous 18th variation was not milked for sentiment, instead Kolesnikov seemed simply to reveal its beauty – the art that co…

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