RSNO Romantic Valentine’s: Romeo and Juliet, Usher Hall, Review

Rating (out of 5)
 Simon Trpčeski, piano
Show details
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Szymanowski, Suite from King Roger; Saint-Saëns, Piano Concerto No 2; Prokofiev, Selection from Romeo and Juliet.
Thomas Søndergård (conductor), Simon Trpčeski (piano)
Running time

With a few short but welcome words of welcome, Thomas Søndergård, the Orchestra's Music Director, was on the podium. The concert, celebrating Valentine's Day two days earlier, began with the UK Premiere of Iain Farrington's arrangement of music from Szymanowski's opera King Roger. The Opera was first performed in Warsaw in 1926 and explores the life of the ruler of Sicily from 1095 to 1154. We learned in the Pre Concert Talk that the strictures of Christianity and the freedom of the mysterious shepherd for King Roger resonated with Szymanowski's life as a homosexual in strict Catholic Poland. This made the work all the more interesting for me in the work's uncomfortableness followed by calm.

It was good to have the Leader of the Orchestra, Maya Iwabuchi, introduce us to the erudite Derrick Morgan earlier in the evning because not only did we hear something of his life as Assistant Conductor under the much admired Thomas Søndergård but also to be given a rundown of the music we were about to hear.

The piano in place, Simon Trpčeski gave us the pleasure of Saint-Saëns' Second and most popular, although challenging to play. Currently Artist in Residence, he hails from Macedonia. For his encore, he drew the cellist Betsy Taylor to the front and together they played from Tchaikovsky's The Swan.

So very fitting for the Romantic Valentine's Concert we heard Selections from Prokofiev's ballet music from Romeo and Juliet. 

Event: Friday 16th February 2024 at 7.30pm