Brighton Philharmonic at the Brighton Dome

The Brighton Philharmonic return with their New Year Viennese Gala. Varied as ever and not restricted to the music of the Strauss family of the 1860s and 1870s, Brighton’s own orchestra draws a near sell-out audience to Brighton Dome on New Year’s Eve. Conductor Stephen Bell mounted the podium with a hop, skip and a jump and bounced along in the programme.
The Brighton Philharmonic is growing in strength and confidence, it’s obviously not an international orchestra though a number of the individual players work at that level for their day job. A sparking Die Fledemaus overture opened the concert with glorious woodwind. Ailish Tynan, soprano, was in good voice for the first of several vocal pieces. The woodwind continued to delight, as did the precise xylophonist. Franz Lehár’s Gold and Silver Waltz rounded off the first part of the programme, the strings giving a credible swirl to the sumptuous main waltz tune even in the relatively austere architecture of the Brighton Dome.

More non-Strauss after the intervals, straining the interest of the audience near me a bit far though they were never less than attentive. Swiftly forgiven with a blistering performance of the Donner and Blitz Polka, which could fairly be said to be the Brighton Philharmonic’s signature tune. A romantic and technically competent playing of the Blue Danube Waltz, indulging the familiar tunes with luscious string tone. Finally, Ailish Tynan returned for a vocal encore, followed by the Radetsky March.
The Brighton programme is complementary to the famous New Year’s concert from Vienna. The Brighton programme is more exploratory. However, we could get tickets, the price was reasonable, the seats plush (the MusikVerein’s are solid wood) and we walked home afterwards. We also enjoyed the singing of Ailish Tynan. And the Brighton audience were far better at clapping along to the Radetsky March!

Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra
Stephen Bell Conductor
Ailish Tynan Soprano


Johann Strauss II - Overture: Die Fledermaus
Johann Strauss II - Laughing Song (Die Fledermaus)
Josef Strauss - Frauenherz Op.166 (A Woman’s Heart)
Robert Stolz - Du Sollst Der Kaiser (Der Favorit)
Emmerich Kálmánn - Overture: Countess Mariza
Josef Strauss - Ohne Sorgen! Polka Op.271 (Without a Care!)
Eduard Strauss - Knall und Fall Polka Op.132
Franz Lehár - Meine Lippen (Giuditta)
Franz Lehár - Gold und Silber Waltz Op.79

Arthur Sullivan - Overture di Ballo
Ronald Binge - Faire Frou-Frou
Arthur Sullivan - The Sun Whose Rays (The Mikado)
Johann Strauss II - March: The Gypsy Baron Op.327
Richard Heuberger - Im Chambre Séparée (Der Opernball)
Johann Strauss II - Unter Donner and Blitz Polka Op.324
Johann & Josef Strauss - Pizzicato Polka
Johann Strauss II - The Blue Danube Waltz Op.314