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Rave Reviews for Runnicles

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Johnny Laville Johnny Laville | 17:21 UK time, Monday, 25 January 2010

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Phew! What a week! Donald Runnicles made a triumphant return to the orchestra for the first time since October as we charged straight into Bruckner's monumental 8th Symphony for some barn-storming concerts in Glasgow's City Halls and Leeds Town Hall. It's fair to say the concerts went down rather well with the audience but what did the critics think? The results are in and are summarised below...

Michael Tumelty of The Glasgow Herald gave the City Halls concert 4 stars saying that he'd not "heard a more purposefully constructed Bruckner Eight".

Top blogger and Runnicles fan Tam Pollard was in the audience at City Halls and stated that the concert was "enough to take your breath away."

Ken Walton of The Scotsman concluded that "where this music can so easily be cast in drier terms, here it was like an opera without words: thrilling, questioning, soulful, and a triumph of innate musicianship".

Rowena Smith of The Guardian gave the concert four stars noting that "Runnicles demonstrated a deft ability to suggest power and ­volume without going beyond the capacity of a not-huge acoustic".

Ken Ward of Classical Source defined the Bruckner "a magnificent and memorable performance".

Our very own Director, Gavin Reid, thought the concert was a sensation commenting that it was "easily in the top five performances I've witnessed anywhere."

Now onto Leeds - Digyorkshire.com gave the concert a maximum 5 stars observing that "The rapturous applause at its glittering close is justly deserved for this accomplished performance of a notoriously challenging piece." You can decide for yourself as the concert is available for your listening pleasure in its entirety this Tuesday 26 February on BBC Radio 3's Performance on 3.

Next up for Runnicles and the SSO this week's conducting masterclasses in conjunction with the RSAMD. More to follow on this exciting collaboration...another busy week ahead!

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