Review of Spring Concert 2012
Canterbury Orchestra Spring Concert
March 31st 2012
St Peter's Methodist Church
It was an unusual and enterprising programme by the Canterbury Orchestra at St Peter's Methodist Church on 31st March. We may have heard a lot of Schubert on the radio recently, but not his Quartettsatz (D 703) arranged for string orchestra. The judicious use of the double bass section gave point to some passages, and the orchestra clearly enjoyed this typically Schubertian piece.
The highlight of the evening was Richard Strauss's Oboe Concerto, an ambitious undertaking but well worth tackling, particularly with the outstanding soloist Rosie Lowen who showed an impressive mastery of the formidably testing oboe line. The string parts are not easy and ideally the first movement needed more weight, though the strings blossomed in the Andante, which is one of those great works saying farewell to the Romantic style.
The interval was followed by Strauss's early masterpiece, the Serenade for 13 wind (Op.7). Here we had an extrememly competent ensemble, presumably with not much rehearsal possible, the beautiful horn part excellently played.
Finally we heard Schubert's Symphony No.6 (D 589), the product of exuberant youth influenced by the then current masters Beethoven and Rossini. The orchestra responded accordingly with lively wind and reliable horns and strings particularly dashing in the Scherzo.
Under their conductor Andrew Lowen the Orchestra prospers and there were few empty seats in the audience. We look forward to the 30th of June with its interesting programme of Jubilee related works, including the 'Coronation" Piano Concerto of Mozart.
Sat 6th May, Colyer-Fergusson Hall, 7.30pm
with Whitstable Dance
Tickets at £15 and £8 available from the Gulbenkian Box Office
Our Spring Concert introduces a collaboration with Whitstable Dance which will allow local young people to share the pleasure of performance with the Orchestra in a presentation of music and dance from Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet, The Nutcracker. The programme will focus on Act ii of the ballet in which the heroine, Clara, travels with the Prince (an erstwhile nutcracker) to the Land of Sweets where they are entertained. The Nutcracker is one of the Tchaikovsky's most popular compositions. The music contains some of his most memorable melodies including the Trepak and the famous Waltz of the Flowers and March, as well as the ubiquitous Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. The ballet contains surprisingly advanced harmonies and a wealth of melodic invention. The atmosphere of magic and mystery is sustained by a performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s orchestral suite Scheherazade, inspired by the tale of The Arabian Nights in which the Sultan’s wife deflects her imminent execution through skilful storytelling and eventually wins her reprieve. Like The Nutcracker, the music is adventurous and delightfully orchestrated.
Interested in playing with the Canterbury Orchestra?
Call Nicky Pound, Canterbury Orchestra Manager on 01304 812755 or email us to find out whether we have vacancies.