If you wanted a concert programme that would instantly make a new audience understand the thrill and excitement of live music, then this could be it.
The Orchestra of Opera North returns to Huddersfield next week to kick-start the new Kirklees Concert season.
Stand well back, for the opening concert isn’t called The Power and the Glory for nothing.
It has everything you could want from a big orchestral concert. Music that will move you, delight you, make you think and quite possibly make you weep.
Opera North is clearly laying down a marker for what to expect in the coming months and it looks set to continue the high quality of concerts staged last season.
Huddersfield and Dewsbury audiences will again be hearing big, inspiring works delivered by top international talent.
And the bar has certainly been set high right from the outset. For next week’s concert features work by Tchaikovsky, Paganini and Shostakovich played by the Orchestra of Opera North.
If you like your music to have panache and passion then this is a concert for you.
Gordon Stewart, Kirklees Borough Organist and a man with more than a little input into how the season is shaped, thinks we are in for quite a few treats this season.
“It’s quite a coup getting violinist Francesca Dego,” he said.
“She’s had amazing success with her first recording which is devoted to Paganini. She got rave reviews.”
And Francesca will be in Huddersfield on Thursday (September 19) to show just why her playing bowled over the critics.
Francesca, who is from Lecco in Italy, is still in her early 20s but is seen by many critics as one of the best young artists on the Italian musical scene.
She certainly started her life in music early.
Francesca made her debut as soloist at the age of seven in California playing a Bach concerto. Her Italian debut followed at 14 with a Beethoven Concerto and at 15 with a Brahms concerto in Milan conducted by György Györiványi Ráth.
The following year she was invited by Shlomo Mintz to perform Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with him at the Tel Aviv Opera House.
Since then she has performed regularly as soloist with major orchestras across the world.
Francesca has won numerous national and international competitions.
In 2008 she was the first Italian female violinist for 47 years to reach the final of the renowned Paganini Competition in Genoa and she won the Enrico Costa prize for having been the youngest finalist.
Next Thursday, she will play Paganini’s Violin Concerto No 1.
Expect fireworks from this combination of a top young musician and a wonderful composer’s romantic concerto which is packed with technical wizardry and musical panache.
For Gordon Stewart, Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony will prove equally electrifying.
“Come with an open mind and it will move you to tears,” he said.
“I think Shostakovich was astonishing. Modern with the power to move.
“I believe Shostakovich was the last great symphonist.”
The Symphony, which is on this year’s A level syllabus, is seen as the composer’s landmark work.
It was Shostakovich at his best in so many ways. For not only did he write a masterpiece, his life may well have depended on it.
Seen as a musical and political triumph, it simultaneously succeeded in appeasing Stalin’s government with its stirring, patriotic melodies, whilst creating music of such beauty and sorrow that it moved – and still moves – audiences to tears.
The programme includes Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien. The conductor is Daniele Rustioni and there will be a Talking Music event before the performance at 6.40pm.
Tickets on 01484 223200