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Classical Christmas

Sir Mark Elder and orchestra credit Bill Lam The Hallé.

The Hallé Orchestra, Warwick Arts Centre, 13 December 2023

Review by Garbara Gouldon

A well-deserved standing ovation marked the end of the Hallé Orchestra's Christmas Concert at Warwick Arts Centre last night (13 December).

The famous Manchester-based orchestra has a formidable reputation but there was nothing heavy about this one-night-only event that set the festive season well and truly on track under the baton of associate conductor Stephen Bell.

The programme contrasted pieces by Mozart and Handel with Prokofiev's Cinderella Suite as well as tunes that went on to be adopted as famous soundtracks for films like Home Alone and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Bell told the audience a little about many of the more modern composers - including Erich Wolfgang Korngold, a child prodigy who wrote The Snowman Serenade at the age of 11.

He also introduced baritone Rodney Earl Clarke to sing extracts from Les Miserables, followed by Pure Imagination, White Christmas and a bit of Figaro before inviting the audience to sing along with Jingle Bell Rock!

Not stuffy at all this programme, much of it I suspect designed for older children. Or the children still within this highly appreciative older audience.

The horn section even wore Santa hats as they chipped in with unexpected bursts as the orchestra carried us from classics like Journey to Lapland on to Snowflakes and Mel Torme's Christmas Song. A return with a new programme is promised in the Spring. I certainly hope to be there.

1 Comment

Dec 14, 2023

Such a fabulous, uplifting evening of music!

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