High praise for Alpesh's recent concerts with the CBSO
Alpesh has performed three outstanding concerts with the CBSO in recent months. The first was in October and featured Strauss' Four Last Songs alongside works by Humperdink and Bruckner. The concert was well received, with Bachtrack, The Arts Desk and the Birmingham Post all publishing 4* reviews. Bachtrack praised Alpesh's command of the score saying "It was a measure of Chauhan’s mastery of the score that the hesitations and shifts between subjects seemed entirely organic". The Arts Desk were in agreement, commenting: "This concert revealed something of [Alpesh's] calibre ... His command of orchestral sonority goes hand in hand with a seemingly instinctive ability to generate atmosphere – making every phrase and gesture an act of communication."
From the Birmingham Post's review: “[A] wonderful programme which was heartwarming confirmation of the conducting gifts of Alpesh Chauhan … [he] began with a loving, magical account of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel Overture. Wagner-warm horns and generous strings unfolded forest depths, and Chauhan’s gestures, well-judged and sometimes judiciously absent, were mightily effective in the expression of this ineluctably glorious piece. Even more glorious are the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss, Chauhan drawing here full, rich orchestral tones, lines lithe and opulent.”
In the next two concerts, the orchestra was joined by the pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, who performed Brahms' Piano Concerto No.1 . Alpesh guided the orchestra through the concerto, plus Dvořák's Three Slavonic Dances and Sibelius' Symphony No. 5. The first performance was to a sold-out matinée audience at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. The programme was repeated the next day at the Malvern Theatres.
The Birmingham Post decorated the Symphony Hall performance with a 5* review, describing Alpesh as a worthy successor to the batons of Simon Rattle and Sakari Oramo, whose interpretations of the Sibelius with the CBSO have received great critical acclaim.
"A young pianist and young conductor coming together to tackle a mighty concerto by a young composer who had not yet learned not to wear his heart on his sleeve ... We could have expected a barnstorming performance of Brahms' First Piano Concerto from Benjamin Grosvenor with Alpesh Chauhan conducting the CBSO. In the event what a packed matinee audience heard was a movingly thoughtful account of this wonderful piece, soloist and orchestra working as one to mould a glorious symphonic unity right from its shattering opening ... The cogency with which Chauhan had marshalled the orchestra in the Brahms surfaced again in a totally gripping account of Sibelius' Fifth Symphony. The orchestra certainly has a proud history with this tautly-wrought masterpiece, not least under the batons of Simon Rattle and Sakari Oramo, and here Chauhan proved himself more than worthy of the succession."