Russian music comes to life at Ipswich Regent

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Credit: Archant

From Russia with Love with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Ipswich Regent last night.

Russian composers are responsible for some of the best known tunes in classical music – and last night’s concert at the Regent showcased some of the finest music ever written.

Some of the titles of the pieces might not be instantly recognisable – but I’m sure no one was unfamiliar with the melodies that emerged from the first notes to the last.

Borodin’s Polotsvian Dances from Prince Igor kicked off the evening. Their music was the basis of the musical Kismet and the orchestra really brought this to sparkling life.

The main piece for many of the audience will have been Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini – again a piece laced with so many melodies that have been borrowed for films and commercials. Solo pianist Danny Driver rightly got a huge round of applause.


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The section finished with an excerpt from Swan Lake which was fine.

The second half of the concert kept up the style with A Night on Bear Mountain and carried on with other well-known pieces before reaching the showstopper.

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That was, arguably, the best-known piece of classical music in the work – Tchaikowsy’s 1812 Overture.

Everyone in the audience will have known this for years and probably have their favourite version. The RPO’s performance last night was as good as any I’ve heard.

And there is nothing quite like listening to great classical music in a concert when you can really concentrate on all the sounds.

This was a great evening of music. I look forward to the RPO’s next visit to the Regent.

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