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New Year’s Day Viennese Gala

Elin Pritchard and Manchester Camerata

The Bridgewater Hall, 1 January 2015

Elin Pritchard

Elin Pritchard.

Elin Pritchard’s sparkling singing enlivened Manchester Camerata’s traditional concert toasting the New Year.

She was a late replacement for Ailish Tynan, but really you couldn’t tell that at all.  Her performance of Lehar‘s ‘On my lips every kiss is like wine’ was a highlight.

And, yes, there was plenty of Strauss: the Blue Danube Waltz, a work I’ll now always associate with the opening sequence of Heaven’s Gate, Kris Kristofferson dancing with his girl on the lawn of his university on graduation day, all the promise of life ahead of him; the Overture to Die Fledermaus; and (this time an earlier Strauss) the Radetzky March.  Von Suppe’s exhilarating Light Cavalry Overture conjured a vision of Lipizzaners parading in geometric formation (about which noble breed, see this review of Brother Mendel’s Perfect Horse).

My only slight qualm is that I’d have liked to see all the works in the concert taken from the Viennese (or, at a pinch, Hungarian) repertoire – there’s enough to choose from and it is, after all, billed as a Viennese Gala.   Being a waltz doesn’t necessarily make a work Viennese.

Overall, an excellent concert and it was heartening to see some RNCM students/alumni, at least two of them members of the Zelkova Quartet, in the orchestra.

Details of Manchester Camerata’s future concerts can be found here.