Major concert by CBSO

Last Thursday in the Symphony Hall in Birmingham, a prestigious concert by CBSO took place, which was also broadcast live on BBC radio 3. One of the pieces that was performed was Also Sprach Zarathustra which became famous because of its performance in the 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. The piece is more adventurous and intriguing than the film suggests and it is a spectacular work that appears in the film only once.

The concert began with Tod und Verklarung which was composed by Strauss. The concert was also excellent because of the presence of the fantastic pianist Stephen Hough who performed Piano Concerto No 1 by Rachmaninov. The composer of this piece of music revised the work in 1917 and it had its premiere in New York in 1919. By this time the Russian composer had been exiled from Russia.

As a pianist, Mr Hough has an immense tactile power and he is also capable of playing in a very wistful way. At the performances his hands seemed to move so fast over the keyboard that they were barely visible and there were moments during the production that it seemed hardly possible that he only had 10 fingers.

His hands moved in stunningly elegant ways over the keyboard and if nothing else this performance was an outstanding technical accomplishment. Fortunately it was something else though, a beautiful musical performance that will remain in the minds of the audience for some time to come.

The 21st birthday of Symphony Hall took place last week and it was visited by the Royal Opera for a concert of Die Meistersinger by Wagner. The celebratory season saw many high-profile people come to visit and because of the wonderful programme being offered there was a very strong turnout.

The Symphony Hall opened in 1991 and since then has retained its place as the finest Hall in the UK. It is regarded as having outstanding acoustic qualities which are admired by musicians and audiences from all over the world.

Bamberg is a town in Germany which boasts the Concert and Congress Hall which is, in many ways, similar to the Symphony Hall in its style and size. It opened in 1993, just 2 years later than the Symphony Hall. While it still slightly less ambitious than the one in Birmingham, it is certainly still an impressive building.

Jonathan Nott is a British conductor who has working with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra since 2000 and many have said that he has created a musical revolution in that part of Germany. He has raised the orchestra to have a serious prominence on the international stage and he has been chosen to perform with his orchestra in 2013 at the Lucerne Festival which is reserved for the elite of music.

Mr Nott was born in Solihull and is known for being an animated composer and is often hurling himself around his podium but every movement that he makes remains completely precise and always perfectly on cue. He manages to keep the strings, woodwind and brass in perfect formation.