Review of Spring Concert 2010
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
Saturday May 17th 2014 at 7.30 pm
Colyer-Fergusson Hall, University of Kent
The Spring Concert celebrates the Orchestra's 60th Anniversary and the choice of music acknowledges the Centenary of World War I, drawing on British music of the period and featuring the hugely popular work by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins based on the renaissance tune The Armed Man. The piece is subtitled A Mass for Peace and is a bold denunciation of war incorporating extracts from the Ordinary of the Mass and words from other religious and historical sources, including the Islamic call to prayer, the Bible (e.g. the Psalms and Revelation), and the Mahabharata. Writers whose words appear in the work include Rudyard Kipling, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Sankichi Toge, who survived the Hiroshima bombing. We are thrilled to be collaborating with Sittingbourne Orpheus to perform this fine work.
Also on the programme will be Holst's stirring Mars, The Bringer of War and gentler offerings by Butterworth, Elgar and Vaughan Williams. The concert will take place on May 17th at the Colyer-Fergusson Hall, the University of Kent's wonderful music venue. Tickets are £12 for adults and £5 for students and children of school age. They will be available on the door and from the Gulbenkian Box Office (01227 769075 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.