Review: Julian Lloyd Webber at Portsmouth Guildhall

Julian Lloyd Webber
Julian Lloyd Webber
David Cassidy pictured in 2008. Picture: PA

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Cellist Julian Lloyd Webber and pianist Rebeca Omordia played with thrilling technique and artistry, yet a sour taste was left for some by the lack of a printed programme and by having the audience seated on-stage with the performers.

People who had booked numbered Guildhall seats instead found themselves forced out wide with the worst view and sound. They should have been warned.

The programme mingled major works with varied short items including In The Half Light by William Lloyd Webber – father to Julian and Andrew. It proved undemanding, gently evocative, not a million miles from Rachmaninov in mood although without his melodic genius.

The Russian composer’s own Cello Sonata highlighted the point as well as producing the evening’s most emotionally powerful playing, with technical challenges enthusiastically embraced.

Faure’s Elegie had a wonderfully tempestuous middle section to offset its fine-drawn, elegant lyricism.