Review of Concert 21 March 2009
A Concert of 20th Century American Music
Shirley Hall, Kings School, Canterbury
soloist: Peter Foggitt (Piano)
Andrew Lowen conducted The Canterbury Orchestra in a thrilling concert of American music at the Shirley Hall.
The brass and woodwind sections gave us a rousing start with Sousa's Liberty Bell March, followed by the whole orchestra in John Henry by Aaron Copland. This powerful piece is based on a folksong and portrays a railroad-building slave who competes against a mechanical steam hammer doing the same work. The hero wins the day, only to die later from his exertions!
The orchestra's Leader, Chris Brown, then took up the baton to conduct Barber's haunting Adagio for Strings, played with romantic fervour and controlled passion. The guest soloist of the evening, Scottish pianist, Peter Foggitt then produced a wonderful account of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. His playing had a classically-trained discipline and he was ably supported by the orchestra who brought off the jazzy effects as to the manor born. It is interesting to note that the original jazz band parts were arranged by Ferde Grofé and labelled by the first names of the players rather than the instruments.
After the interval came a bubbly account of Bernstein's Candide Overture, Appalachian Spring by Copland and Gershwin's Porgy & Bess Suite, with its popular tunes.
Altogether a magnificent concert presented with great enthusiasm by these dedicated players.
David Ruddock (Kentish Gazatte)
Saturday July 6th 2013 at 7.30 pm
Colyer-Fergusson Hall, University of Kent, CT2 7NB
Our next concert features two masterly and ever-popular pieces from the Romantic concert repertoire in the Elgar Cello Concerto, one of the composer's last large scale compositions written in the aftermath of World War I, and Dvorak's New World Symphony, an invigorating work based on a tapestry of melodies derived from American folk tunes and enlivened by characteristic Czech rhythms. As our soloist for the Elgar we are privileged to bring to Canterbury the internationally acclaimed Australian cellist, Pei-Jee Ng. The programme is completed by Malcolm Arnold's Little Suite for Orchestra No.2 .. which, though short, is full of inventiveness and colour. Tickets are £10 for adults and £4 for students and children of school age. They are available on the door and from the Gulbenkian Box Office (01227 769075 )
Details of forthcoming concerts are also listed in the Events Diary of the Canterbury Arts Council website.