Bartok: Roumanian Dances
Strauss: Oboe Concerto
Ashton Hall, Dalton Square, Lancaster
Guest Conductor: Ellie Slorach
Soloist: Luiz de Campos
Leader: Julian Cann
Guest conductor Ellie Slorach proved to be an outstandingly talented musician. Her concentration, discipline, passion, and unfailing good spirits, kept the concert electric, and the players on the edges of their chairs. Comments from the 450-strong audience afterwards were: “I have never heard the Haffner play so well”, and “Ellie certainly got the most out of the Haffner”.
A few days before the concert, soloist Beatrice Hubble broke her hand, and was unable to play. Luiz de Campos, the substitute found at the last minute, was a marvellous replacement. One experienced concert-goer said that he had never heard the Strauss oboe concerto played better (and it is a difficult work). Luiz will be starting post-graduate studies with a scholarship soon, at the Royal Academy of Music. His playing had a maturity far beyond his years.
The pre-concert talk was also outstandingly entertaining, informative and amusing.