After selling out the National Concert Hall in Spring, Colin Sweetman checks out the offerings for the UCD Symphony Orchestra’s winter recital in O’Reilly Hall

The time of year has come again for UCD’s Symphony Orchestra to showcase talent around the campus. Established in 2002, UCDSO is the university’s leading music ensemble with around 70-80 student members. It is now a recognised programme module and elective under the UCD Horizons scheme, allowing students to reap academic as well as artistic and social rewards.

ucd140In spring of this year the orchestra played to a full house in the National Concert Hall, and ordinarily play the NCH in the second semester of term, and O’Reilly Hall in the first. This year, however, the Orchestra are accompanied by another campus musical gem in the UCD Choral Scholars, the Dublin choir Enchiriadis, and renowned cellist Ailbhe McDonagh.

Conductor Ciarán Crilly once again leads the orchestra onto the stage with a well-rehearsed and selected few pieces from the Russia, France and England of the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth.

The public will be first treated to Dukas’ ‘Fanfare from La Peri’, played purely by the brass section of the orchestra. Although the famed conductor Sir Thomas Beecham once stated that “brass bands are all very well in their place – outdoors and several miles away”, you can be guaranteed that this will be a fantastic and bright opening to the evening’s show.

Elgar’s music is wonderful in its heroic melancholy. Therefore, the orchestra treats you to one of his finest works: the Cello Concerto. If you like cellos as much as otwo, this is one to definitely watch, listen and experience.

Like last year’s performance, which was themed with music from Russia, Crilly once again conjures performances from the country’s greatest composers. Of all the pieces being performed on this night, Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kijé is the one which should be anticipated the most. UCD Symphony Orchestra profits most by using this piece to display in-depth and colourful use of the available musical language. Watch all the YouTube videos you want: nothing compares to experiencing the piece live, as the musicians of UCD perform its ‘new simplicity’.

If you want proof of how promising and engaging UCD Symphony Orchestra are, keep your ears peeled around campus today – they’ll be lurking around for surprise performances around the college, so keep your ears open!

Click here to see the original published article.