Review of June 2011 concert

Canterbury Orchestra Summer Concert

soloist Nicky Catterwell

Saturday 25th June 2011

St Peters Methodist Church


Summer has begun and Romanticism was in the air at St Peters Methodist Church last Saturday. The Canterbury Orchestra, under the baton of Andrew Lowen, provided some stellar entertainment for a packed crowd. The playing on show was testament to the work put in by the group of semi professional, amateur and student musicians that make up the ensemble. The concert began with Respighi’s The Birds, a fitting opening with a neo-baroque take on 17th century harpshichord music. This was interpreted well, combining an impressive array of string techniques, chamber music style woodwind passages and notable solo lines from the woodwind and brass sections. The orchestra was at its best however with the lush romantic textures of Puccini’s Chrysanthemums and Reinecke’s Flute Concerto in D. The soloist for this work, Nicky Catterwell, an ex-student of Canterbury Christ Church University, played with considerable skill and virtuosity with the well balanced orchestral backing. While all the evening’s music was well played, the orchestra truly came alive with Beethoven’s 8th symphony, which was performed with considerable flourish and energy. While the 8th is not as well known as the 5th,6th or 9th, it still bears the hallmarks of a great composer. Loud tutti sections were played bombastically and did not feel out of control or over-forceful as so often happens with a modern orchestra. There was good dynamic contrast overall with an effective ensemble in the more intricate sections of the work. It is testament to Andrew Lowen how the orchestra blended to create a seamless sound in ensemble while solo woodwind lines were allowed to emerge from the texture. The symphony ends with a triumphant 53 bar cadence, which was executed with the necessary pomp and emphasis; it was followed by rapturous applause and evident interest in how the Orchestra will tackle their next programme in December.


Liam Bradbury-Sparvell

More Information

Canterbury Arts CouncilDetails of forthcoming concerts are also listed in the Events Diary of the Canterbury Arts Council website and on the Orchestra's Facebook page.

Interested in playing with the Canterbury Orchestra?

Call Sue Gray, Canterbury Orchestra Manager, on 01227 938321; or email sgcorch@gmail.com to find out whether we have vacancies