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Classical preview : Royal Northern College Of Music Symphony Orchestra | Metro.co.uk

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Classical preview : Royal Northern College Of Music Symphony Orchestra | Metro.co.uk

HomeNewsSportFameWeirdMetroLifeME ME MoneyMetrosexualLifestyleTravelGamesGimmeAlert Film Music Food and drink Books Restaurant offers Festivals Tickets Blogs Video Chat Your views Classical preview : Royal Northern College Of Music Symphony Orchestra by RICHARD BRATBY - Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pascal Rophe is one of the conductors brought in to replace Martyn Brabbins

You know a conductor’s unique when it takes two to replace him. This concert by the Royal Northern College Of Music Symphony Orchestra was to have been conducted by the respected British maestro Martyn Brabbins.

But with Brabbins out of the picture after a serious elbow injury, the RNCM has sensibly taken the decision to substitute him with Clark Rundell and Pascal Rophé and to leave this spectacular programme unchanged.

And rightly so, because this is the mother of all end-of-term blow-outs. The opener alone is an epic : the exuberant choral symphony The Dance, Forever The Dance by RNCM principal Edward Gregson. Setting words by Byron, Auden and Wilde, it’s scored for a Mahler-sized orchestra.

That alone makes any performance a major occasion, but under the baton of Rundell, a long-term colleague of Gregson’s, this one should be particularly special.

The Dance however is just the upbeat to the even more outrageous second half - Messiaen’s vast Turangalîla-Symphonie, a psychedelic, toweringly kitsch celebration of love on a cosmic scale. Listen out for the retro electronic swooning of the ondes-martenot, played tonight by the French virtuoso Pascale Rousse-Lacordaire.

Conductor Rophé, meanwhile, knows the contemporary French repertoire inside out, and the RNCM’s superb young players will do the rest.