Canterbury Orchestra

Review of Spring Concert 2010


Saturday March 27th, 7.30pm

St Peter's Methodist Church

Conductor: Andrew Lowen

Soloist: Robin Wilson (violin)

This concert by the Canterbury Orchestra opened with Mozart’s overture to his opera Così fan tutte.  Though perhaps not as fleet of foot in the frenetic main section as one might have wished, the whimsical spirit of the opera was reflected well with some nice touches by the woodwind and sensitive playing from the brass and timpani.

The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the performance of the Bruch Violin Concerto No.1.  The soloist, Robin Wilson, captured the audience from the very beginning with his sensitive playing of the opening cadenza-like passage.  The ensuing first movement was played with a judicious blend of full-blooded passion and sweet lyricism by the solo violin, with deft accompanying by the orchestra, creating a fine ensemble balance.  The emotional kernel of the work, the slow adagio movement, was shaped well by both soloist and orchestra, with impressive orchestral climaxes.  The final movement could have been a little more light-footed, but overall it succeeded in communicating the essence of the gypsy folk-dance. The soloist displayed throughout this performance a sure command of the technical and emotional demands of the work.  Both soloist and orchestra fully deserved the enthusiastic applause of the audience.

Brahms’s Serenade No.1 presents a more relaxed ambience than one might expect from this composer. The conductor, Andrew Lowen, projected well the mixture of youthful exuberance combined with more than a hint of symphonic rigour in the opening movement.  The darker Nordic tones of the second (scherzo) and third (slow) movements were managed well by the orchestra, in particular by the horns and clarinets.  The attention of the listener was somewhat lost during the elegiac third movement (perhaps the fault of the relatively inexperienced Brahms rather than of the orchestra), but was fully regained in the penultimate and final movements, characterised by spirited rhythmic playing, especially by the strings, bringing the concert to an exciting conclusion.


Dr Michael Chandler


Next Concert

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.



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.