WINTER CONCERT 2010
Andrew Lowen: conductor
Saturday 16th January 2010
Kent College Chapel
This was an impressive performance produced by a group of amateur and semi-professional local musicians. Their dedication and careful preparation resulted in an evening of uplifting music making. Mendelssohn’s Overture: Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage requires playing of great delicacy. While the execution fell short of such necessary subtleties, overall the impression in regard to style and sonority maintained the crucial palate of colours. Elgar’s Enigma Variations, another testimony to the notorious density of the composer’s orchestration; whilst being deft, nimble, thickly layered it thus requires dextrous and agile playing. That these players avoided the treacherous pitfalls that can so often mar performances of this work was a credit to all. They seemed to relish in the colours and imbued their performances with a palpable sense of collective pride. Nimrod was taken at a flowing pace, allowing its lyrical lines to register with true ‘British’ poignancy. The following variation, Dorabella, was no less impressive an example, and the delicate and buoyant rhythms were finely etched. Tchaikovsky’s mighty Symphony No.5 was given a bold and purposeful account; the opening Andante/Allegro was impressive in its sense of architectural sweep. If the doleful slow movement revealed some lapses in ensemble and the Valse lacked in some refinement, the final movement had real élan and substantial excitement. The principal woodwind players (Janet McDonald, Nicky Pound, Jo Maddock and John Perfect) gave committed and well-defined solos, while the brass secured some resplendent sounds. Mandy Cook’s famous horn solo was carefully managed. The strings, so often the Achilles heel of amateur orchestras, made an impressive sound, illustrated in the slower movements. Andrew Lowen inspired authority in performances that revealed the composers’ intentions. His careful attentiveness to orchestral balance and ensemble went hand in hand with his inherent musicality.
Professor Paul Max Edlin
for the Kentish Gazette
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.
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.