Love in a Cold Climate at the National Concert Hall, December 9th 2014.
Irish Tenor, Patrick Hyland, joins John Finucane and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra for a concert dedicated to the theme of love, with a wintery twist. The refreshingly packed auditorium is resplendent with Christmas spirit, as twinkling lights and tinsel adorn the surroundings. In a bid to further channel the air of festive cheer, the orchestra arrives on stage bedecked in a multitude of reds and greens, with the odd geansai Nollaig and glittering reindeer ears making an appearance. Glaunov’s winter suite from his ballet, The Seasons, opens the programme with a picturesque portrayal of a Russian winter landscape. The Orchestra captures the essence of this work with elegance and precision. This work is new to the ears of many of the audience members today, who respond with enthusiasm to such a pretty piece.
Hyland takes to the platform to perform Mozart’s ‘Il mio tesoro intanto’ and ‘Un’aura amorosa’. His phrasing and depth of control across the angular semiquaver passages is stylistically impressive, as is his refined stage presence. Borodin’s Nocturne follows with some impressive playing from the strings section. Hyland returns to sing Tchaikovsky’s ‘None but the Lonely Heart’ and ‘Kuda, kuda?’. His pronunciation of the difficult Russian text is mostly consistent here, however he lacks the passion and angst required for these songs. Nonetheless, his performance is rewarded with delightful applause.
Finucane leaves the podium briefly for a slight adjustment to his attire. His reappearance in a charming blue snowman jumper is met with great merriment. A duo of pieces from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker closes the concert with some super playing from the woodwinds and harp. Across the hall, heads nod to the beat and toes tap along to this spirited, and colourful, interpretation of such much loved Russian classics.
Glazunov: ‘Winter: Frost; Ice; Hail; Snow’ from The Seasons
Mozart: ‘Il mio tesoro intanto’ from Don Giovanni
Mozart: ‘Un’aura amorosa’ from Cosi fan tutte
Tchaikovsky: ‘None but the Lonely Heart’
Tchaikovsky: ‘Kuda, kuda?’ from Eugene Onegin
Tchaikovsky: ‘Dance of the Reed Flutes’ from The Nutcracker
Tchaikovsky: ‘Waltz of the Flowers’ from The Nutcracker