New Year’s Eve Viennese Gala Concert - Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra - Brighton Dome

 A sparkling and stylish New Year’s Eve Viennese Gala Concert in the historic but refurbished Brighton Dome; Stephen Bell conducting the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra in music of the Strauss family plus twentieth century Viennese music of Emmerich Kálmán and Franz Lehár.

Brighton thinks of itself partly as London-on-the-Sea, in the same way the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra draws on a pool of players from the nearby metropolis and thus delivers concerts of unexpected quality for a city of the size of Brighton and Hove. Now restructured after a couple of difficult years, the orchestra is in fine form and today’s concert was well supported by an enthusiastic and attentive audience.

Stephen Bell drew fine ensemble from the orchestra and compelling cello solos from the Brighton Philharmonic’s chief cellist, Peter Adams in the Romance for Cello and Orchestra No. 1 in D minor. He also featured in Suppé’s Overture: Poet and Peasant, which opened today’s concert. We heard Soprano Susana Gaspar in a variety of pieces: Puccini’s aria “Quando m’en vo” from La Bohème, was an inspired choice as an operatic development of a Viennese waltz.

The concert wasn’t particularly generous with repeats within the music, the result being that some items felt short. On the other hand, the Brighton Philharmonic delivered a varied and ambitious programme including some pieces rarely performed along with old favourites.

No Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka as had been requested on Twitter but yes they did add the Radetsky March as an encore after a gutsy rendition of the Blue Danube Waltz.

Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Stephen Bell  
Soprano: Susana Gaspar
New Year’s Eve Viennese Gala Concert
Franz von Suppé - Overture: Poet and Peasant
Josef Strauss - Ohne Sorgen – Polka
Giacomo Puccini - Quando m’en vo (La Bohème)
Johann Strauss - Tritsch-Tratsch – Polka
Josef Strauss - Die Libelle – Polka
Johann Strauss II - Éljen a Magyar – Polka
Giacomo Puccini - O mio babbino caro (Gianni Schicchi)
Johann Strauss II - Enjoy Your Life – Waltz
Johann Strauss II - Champagne Polka
Johann Strauss II - Overture: Die Fledermaus
Johann Strauss II - Laughing Song (Die Fledermaus)
Johann Strauss II - Roses from the South
Johann Strauss II - Romance for Cello and Orchestra No. 1 in D minor
Franz Lehár - Meine Lippen (La Giuditta)
Johann Strauss II & Josef Strauss - Pizzicato Polka
Emmerich Kálmán - Heia! Heia! In den Bergen (The Gypsy Princess)
Johann Strauss II - The Blue Danube – Waltz