Review: Halle Orchestra starts new Sheffield concert season in style

Cellist Laura van der Heijden
Cellist Laura van der Heijden

The Sheffield International Concert Season opened in style with a night of gorgeous music from the Halle and guest cellist Laura van der Heijden (pictured).

The orchestra, conducted by Karl-Heinz Steffens, and the young performer collaborated on a very engaging performance of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B Minor.

The interplay between the orchestra and the performer showed a beautiful sympathy for the moving work and Laura van der Heijden’s playing was wonderfully expressive and assured with a lightness and delicacy of touch.

The evening started on a more strident note with Sibelius’ urgently-paced piece, Lemminkainen’s Return, one to really get the heart racing.

In the finale, Brahms’ Symphony No 4 in E Minor, the flute and clarinet players shone out in an all-round excellent performance, richly deserving of sustained applause and the conductor’s huge smiles.