Roberto Fores and the great Flute Concertos

Roberto Fores and
the great Flute Concertos

City Hall Concert Hall.
Hong Kong Sinfonietta.
Roberto Fores-Veses, direction.


Flautist Juliette Hurel is a solid player with vibrant musicality. She had a challenging evening with Mozart’s Concerto No 1 in G and Carl Nielsen’s Flute Concerto. The Mozart piece was graceful but not quite on fire. Her artistry and mellifluous tone were evident in the musical shaping of themes and fine sense of timing in the solo cadenzas.

The memorable adagio melody was cleanly articulated in two-note phrases rather than one long line. The first time we heard it was with the orchestra, where it sounded a bit choppy under the baton of Roberto Forés Veses. The second time it was flute alone and it sounded graceful. By the third time the orchestra had assimilated Hurel’s manner and they meshed beautifully.

Hurel jumped over the hurdles with panache in Nielsen’s Flute Concerto. It has a mischievous personality, darting from one idea to the next, one moment sweet, the next mocking. The flute opening was striking. Mercurial scales among the woodwinds were dexterously played. The lyrical ending to the first movement was beautiful. A timpani roll under the solo cadenza and a flute and bassoon duet were original touches. Trombone slides near the final cadence indicated a lighter mood.

The centerpiece of this concert was the magnificent Sibelius Symphony No 7 in C, which was powerfully and eloquently led by the Spanish conductor. Sibelius develops his ideas fully and touches a deep spot. Forés Veses conducted with his bare hands (below) and the orchestra responded by digging in with a rich sound.

The overlapping harmonies were like watching transparent panels glide by. The natural harmonics were reinforced with radiant brass. By the end I thought, this is what an orchestra can do.

Alexis Alrich

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The Hong Kong Sinfonietta concert tonight deserves the highest regard.Critique 26 april 2014.

The Mozart and Nielsen Flute Concerti are wonderfully played by Juliette Hurel. The orchestra has an excellent strings section. I go to this concert for the concerti as much as the Sibelius 7, a symphony much favoured by von Karajan as evidenced by his letter to Walter Legge in the early post-war years requesting to record it and stating that it is his favourite among all Sibelius symphonies.

The conductor, Roberto Fores Veses, is obviously happy that his understanding of Sibelius 7 has been superbly conveyed to the audience by the excellent playing of the orchestra. The strings polyphony canvas is a beautiful foundation upon which the woodwinds and the brass, the trombone in particular, make their statements. Tovey’s famous analogy of this symphony’s different tempos to air travel becomes very apt in the seamless tempo changes rendered by the orchestra — the adagio, vivacissimo, alllegro moderato, vivace and presto are apparently ‘absorbed’ into a uniform forward momentum with no perception of sudden change in gear.

Horace Lau




Roberto Forés

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