BELLA BARTOCK, Inside Croydon’s culture vulture, was back at the Fairfield Halls this week for the Royal Philarmonic’s Tchaikovsky gala concert
This concert certainly lived up to its title.
The opening Marche slave was full of barbaric splendour thanks to the conducting of Grzegorz Nowak and the magnificent orchestra.
Freddy Kempf, whose authoritative artistry belies his youthful appearance, gave a sensitive and authoritative reading of the composer’s ever-popular first piano concerto enhanced by the orchestral partnership.
The Capriccio Italien brought an atmosphere of southern warmth to the evening followed by excerpts from The Nutcracker. The final work was the 1812 overture, which displayed the full force and talents of the orchestra, including organ, extra brass in the royal box and, to quote the programme, “explosive cannon effects”.
There appeared to be a full house for this concert. Sadly the average age of the audience was well over 60. Unless younger people can be attracted to such superb music and performances, classical music in Croydon faces a diminishing future.