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Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8

The Halle Orchestra

The Bridgewater Hall, 15 May 2016

The Halle performing in concert. Photo by Russell Hart.

The Halle performing in concert. Photo by Russell Hart

As a summing-up of what Dvorak was all about, ‘Nature, Life and Love’, the title of the Halle’s series of concerts devoted to the composer – of which this was one – passes muster.

The concert began with a Slavonic Dance and then the excellent Gary Hoffman joined the orchestra onstage for the Cello Concerto in B minor. Under Sir Mark Elder’s briskly efficient direction and vibrant conducting these two works, together with the Symphony No 8 in G major which we heard after the interval, were exhilarating performances all around.

The courtly character – the graciousness, and gentle charm – of Dvorak’s music shone through, joyful though with perhaps just a trace, a mere smidgeon, of melancholy. Bohemian bonhomie.

Details of future Halle concerts can be found here.