Classical Music Culture

Passion of Youth | BBC NOW Concert Review

By Devika Sunand

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

An amazing concert was held on the 9th of February at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, as a part of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales 2019-20 season. Featuring some of the best work from Beethoven, Walton, and Bruch, ‘Passion of Youth’ was a concert worth facing the storm for, and judging by the number of people in the room, I wasn’t the only one to think that. Walton’s first symphony was the highlight of the concert. Despite its darker movements, it was full of energy and it finished with a spectacular explosion of glory. The symphony is thought to be Walton’s best work, and it only takes a few seconds to understand why.

Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor shared the same drive, with one the most beautiful slow movements in the repertoire, while Beethoven set the tone of the night with his overture. Conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto led the Welsh National Orchestra beautifully, with an outstanding performance by violinist Esther Yoo.

The concert was bliss for every music lover’s ears, and the atmosphere was unparalleled to any of my previous experiences with classical music. It gave me goosebumps to feel the endless dedication and experience with which every single artist performed. One of the things I loved the most about the concert was the way the programme was structured. The music went through various variations and combinations, some soothing and some highly energetic. Overall, I felt that the music and the execution had done complete justice to the title of the concert, that is, ‘passion of youth’. I feel Walton described the feeling in the best way possible. The show is definitely a must and leaves the audience wanting more. We cannot wait to see what the BBC National Orchestra of Wales has in store for the rest of the season!

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