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Sunset on the Dnieper. Fragment. Zvenigorodsky V. 1970
Wednesday, 05 October 2022

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Culture news > Classical music review from Aug. 11

After a small turnout the previous night, a bigger crowd turned up for Thursday's edition of the Summer Festival of Orchestral Music. 

The Symphony Orchestra of the National Philharmonic of Ukraine opened the night of Aug. 11 with an unscripted surprise, Mozart's Overture to the opera The Magic Flute. The conductor chose a rapid tempo that electrified the night's debut.

Franz Schubert's Symphony in B minor ('Unfinished') came next. The well-known melodies that have melted hearts of nearly 200 years' worth of audiences were a calm change from the pulsating and neurotic rhythms of Mozart's Overture. Unfortunately, the orchestra seemed unsettled throughout. The cellos and basses struggled to agree on intonation during the opening and this spread like a virus to the upper winds for the remainder of the symphony.

The night's major work, Antonin Dvorak's Ninth Symphony ('From the New World'), greeted the public after interval. The excitement of the audience and musicians alike was palpable. From the wings, we heard the cor anglais player doing some last minute practice of the second movement solo. He would have understood that even the most casual listener to classical music would follow his melodic line knowingly.

While his solo went well, the highlight of the symphony lay in the power and the precision of the lower brass and horns. At their height, they seemed powerful enough to blow the dust off the Corinthian columns that give the Lysenko Hall of Columns its name.

The night finished with another unscripted moment when the orchestra returned for an encore with Dvorak's Slavonic Dance. No. 8.

Conductor Mykola Dyadyra showed a masterly understanding of tempo and had his orchestra follow his wants with perfection and smooth transitions. Both Dvorak works were full of well-placed rits, rals and pauses that heightened the musical effect.

The Summer Festival of Orchestral Music continues onAug. 15, featuring the National Chamber Ensemble ‘Kiev Soloists.'  

According to KyivPost