Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Bliss, Cadogan Hall, London

4.00

Cadogan Hall is London's newest concert hall and the new home of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It was built at almost exactly the same time as the Wigmore Hall, in 1901.

Cadogan Hall is London's newest concert hall and the new home of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It was built at almost exactly the same time as the Wigmore Hall, in 1901. The feel of the place is not dissimilar, with its barrelled ceiling, but at 900 seats it is bigger. There is an extensive balcony around the edge of the hall, as it happens completely empty on this, the first promotion of the RPO in its new abode. The RPO lost out in the "favoured status" accorded to the London Philharmonic and Philharmonia at the South Bank and clearly it will have to work hard to familiarise London concert-goers to this new venue.

It must have been a bit dispiriting to have so small a crowd but it was very pleasing to see some young people and indeed children. In Schubert's Unfinished, a tiny tot was having a whale of a time conducting. When she clapped her hands over her ears she had a point: this is a very bright hall and the volume can become painful. More serious perhaps is the whoosh of white noise, the air-conditioning, that threatens every silent or quiet moment.

No doubt the youngsters had come to hear a youngster not much older than themselves. At 15, Julian Bliss is an astonishing talent. In his bright red bow-tie and cummerbund, his diminutive figure was a marvellous sight. And Mozart's Clarinet Concerto can rarely have sounded so newly minted. After a slightly tentative start, he revealed a wonderful musical intelligence, far in excess of his years. He intuitively understands the operatic nature of the piece, shading the question and answering phrases to perfection, adding subtle and charming embellishments in natural good taste.

Playing a modern basset clarinet allowed him to play the work as Mozart wrote it - the basset clarinet became obsolete - superbly placing and relishing the deep notes unavailable to the ordinary A clarinet. His long, beautiful opening theme of the second movement sounded as though he was taking no breaths. And when the opening theme returned, his pianissimo was completely miraculous. Effortless virtuosity was displayed in the springy third movement rondo, charming and alluring like Tamino with his flute. Such imaginative playing would be stunning at any age. At this age, one can only wonder.

After the interval, Beethoven's 8th symphony rounded off the concert - but the young people were gone. To an even smaller crowd, Dirk Joeres, associate conductor of the RPO, presided over a neat performance.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Thomas carried Lady Edith over the flames in her bedroom in Downton Abbey series five

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, seated next to a picture of his missing wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene

Friends 20th anniversary
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham

books
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey

There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

    Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

    ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
    Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

    Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

    Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
    'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
    BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

    BBC Television Centre

    A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
    Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

    My George!

    Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
    10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world