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Review: Roth Conducts Tchaikovsky with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales

By MarkRees  |  Posted: February 26, 2013

Conductor Francois-Xavier Roth performing with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales

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Roth Conducts Tchaikovsky with the BBC National Orchestra ofWales

Brangwyn Hall

You might not expect to see members of an orchestra performing dressed in t-shirts, jeans, or even a hoodie.

But with the exception of the unconventional dress, these young string musicians, playing side-by-side with their full-time counterparts from the National Orchestra of Wales, put in a thoroughly professional performance as they tore through a short, sweet and snappy selection of Tchaikovsky's more memorable moments.

The orchestra, which was being recorded for a live broadcast by BBC Radio, consisted of members from the Swansea Community Orchestra, Nantgaredig Community Band and Symphonica Tywi, including participants from the Abertawe Festival of Music.

The amateurs, from as young as six years old, appeared to be relishing every moment of performing in such an illustrious setting. They even had the opportunity of being conducted by charismatic conductor François-Xavier Roth who, following a short interval was back on stage with the main event.

The professional orchestra continued the Tchaikovsky theme, as the BBC NOW bookended their show with dazzling performances of the Fantasy Overture from Romeo and Juliet and a particularly rousing Symphony No 4.

The only deviation all night from the Russian composers' works of fantasy was an evocative performance of Bartók's Piano Concerto No 2, which included a guest appearance from the maestro's fellow Frenchman, piano soloist Jean-Frédéric Neuburger.

A fine night of music, from professionals and amateurs alike.

Mark Rees

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