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Thursday 21 November 2019

Review: Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra

National Concert Hall, Dublin

PAT O'KELLY

Moscow's Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra -- the concert name of the famous theatre's instrumental ensemble -- makes its Irish debut directed by Kazakh Alan Buribayev at the concert hall.

Standing in for one of the Bolshoi's regulars, Maestro Buribayev has been fascinating NCH audiences following his appointment as RTE NSO principal conductor last year.

Keeping the Bolshoi's planned programme intact, his vibrant presence on the podium earns him ready respect and eager response from this fabulous band of musicians.

Whatever about 'symphony' in the title, this concert is purely theatrical, with extracts from Tchaikovsky's opera Yevgeny Onegin in part I and a concoction from Prokofiev's ballet Cinderella in part II. The interpretations are simply superb.

Bolshoi soprano Dinora Alieva and baritone Andrey Grigoryev join them for the Tchaikovsky excerpts, with Ms Alieva urgent nervous and passionate in Tatyana's impetuous Letter Scene.

As Onegin, Gregoryev's rebuttal of her impulsive declaration is dignified and restrained. With tables turned in Act III, when Tatyana has become the Princess Gremin, her rejection of Onegin's infatuation finds both singers dramatically intense.

Immersing into the pulsating Prokofiev with unbridled panache, each section of the Bolshoi ensemble shows its particular forte -- sinewy yet richly expansive strings, smoothly even woodwind, powerfully resonant brass and rhythmically secure percussion.

Encores of additional Tchaikovsky and Khachaturian -- with a persistently petulant snare drum -- brings this terrific concert to a rousing conclusion.

Irish Independent

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