Friday Night Classics, The Gershwins in Hollywood

Reviewed at Symphony Hall, Birmingham by Clive Fuller for In Tune Magazine.

This 2 and a quarter hour concert featuring the CBSO with guest conductor John Wilson and accomplished vocalists Kim Crisswell & Gary Williams was a delight. Superb playing & solos from the CBSO and guest instrumentalists made it a most memorable evening. A full house of over 2200 was treated to some of the greatest music of the 20th Century through their original film musical arrangements. It was indeed ’Swonderful.

Kim Criswell whose vocal range can allow a song to be performed with great force or sung so sweetly that it is the gentlest of vocals performed immaculately throughout the evening both in solo vocals, The Man I Love was a joy and in duets such as Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, with Gary Williams.

Gary Williams is always worth hearing and in the company of John Wilson and the best of musicians he excelled himself in the finest of the Gershwins. Apart from well known classics such as Love is Here to Stay it was refreshing to hear him duet with Kim on less well known material such as Aren’t You Kind of Glad We Did and For You, For Me, For Evermore both from the 1947 film “The Shocking Miss Pilgrim”. The audience loved it all and Gary was in great voice.

The evening really was an example of the music delighting the audience and a capacity crowd coming from not just the immediate areas of Birmingham but as far afield as Cheltenham Spa, Shrewsbury and towns in both Warwickshire and Worcestershire. It was confirmation indeed that there is still a large audience for the popular composers of the 20th Century. Long may these Friday Night Classics continue. Tonight’s audience really did not want them to leave the stage.