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Concert Review 22nd June 2024

The Haffner's June concert offered something a little bit different from the standard concerto opening, replacing an instrumental soloist with a narrator for the ever-popular Peter and the Wolf.

Graeme Kirk, a local actor who was well-known to Archers fans back in the day as the voice of Kenton Archer, took the many children in the audience through the story, ably accompanied by Alex Robinson and the orchestra.

It was an enjoyable first half for the packed Ashton Hall audience. A perhaps slightly tentative opening for Peter on the strings warmed as the piece progressed and all the orchestral characters were ably performed, from the oboe (or duck) to the French horns (wolf!). I particularly enjoyed the final triumphant procession, which was played with a good sense of grandeur.

After the interval, something perhaps more serious, but no less enjoyable, as the Haffner tackled Tchaikovsky's 5th symphony, in one of the finest performances of any symphony I've heard them give.

Alex and the orchestra both clearly put everything they had into it, and as they mopped the sweat from their collective brows at the end of the evening, we all left with a renewed appreciation for this wonderful piece.

A. McCafferty 26.6.24


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