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)
Symphonic Last Words: late works of Haydn & Mozart
Sat 26th November, Colyer-Fergusson Hall, 7.30pm
with Lees Court Music
Tickets at £15 and £8 available from the Gulbenkian Box Office
Our Winter Concert presents the late music of two of the most innovative and revered composers of the classical era. The first half celebrates the work of Mozart and the programme begins with the overture to his opera La Clemenza di Tito, commissioned to celebrate the coronation of Leopold II as King of Bohemia in mid-1791 some 6 months before Mozart's death, and probably written concurrently with the motet, Ave Verum Corpus, which follows it in the programme and will be performed the chamber choir Lees Court Music. Mozart’s 40th, is one of only two minor symphonies, both of which are in the key of G minor. It is a darkly emotional work written in the last year of his life together with the 39th & 41st symphonies, believed by some critics to form a triptych. The second half of the concert features the work of Haydn, beginning with the popular motet Insanae et vanae curae, reworked late in the composers life from an earlier oratorio. The concert concludes with Haydn’s final symphony No.104, known as The London Symphony and, in fact, the last of a series of twelve London Symphonies. The work was composed in 1795 and established itself immediately as a firm favourite of concertgoers.
Details of forthcoming concerts are also listed in the Events Diary of the Canterbury Arts Council website.