A concert featuring a ballet score: Northern Sinfonia/Hickox at Durham Cathedral
By Alfred Hickling for The Guardian
It's still panto season in Durham, with Mother Goose on at the cathedral. This is not a profanation of a great place of worship, however, but Ravel's charming - yet little-performed - ballet, which Richard Hickox has chosen to celebrate his newly bestowed honorary doctorate from the university.
Ravel's suite is the orchestral equivalent of a strapping bedtime story. Originally conceived as a four-handed piano entertainment for children, the piece skips through classic fairy-tale scenarios, including a stately pavane around the Sleeping Beauty's bedside and a piquantly contrasted conversation between Beauty and the Beast. The beast's voice provides a rare opportunity for the contra-bassoon to make its presence felt and Nicholas Reader's sub-sonic contribution made the Norman foundations shudder. click for more
<small>[ 20 December 2003, 06:02 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>