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)
Sat 25th November 2017, Colyer-Fergusson Hall, 7.30pm
Tickets available from the Gulbenkian Box Office at £15 and £8 for students and children
Glinka: Ruslan & Ludmilla
Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini (soloist Christopher Weston, piano)
Moussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
Andrew Lowen conductor
Our final concert of the year carries forward the focus of the Spring Concert on music from the great Russian Romantic composers, beginning with the overture from Glinka’s second opera, a rumbustious piece said to have been inspired by the clatter of cutlery at a court wedding! We are delighted to welcome back Christopher Weston to play Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, a concertante work for solo piano and orchestra comprising 24 variations on the last of Paganini’s Caprices for solo violin. The concluding work will be Moussorgsky’s Picture at an Exhibition, inspired by the paintings of his friend Victor Hartmann.
Details of forthcoming concerts are also listed in the Events Diary of the Canterbury Arts Council website and on the Orchestra's Facebook page.