Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Crosby Symphony Orchestra: Sound of Scandinavia-a magnificent success

 On Sunday evening after dashing from one Remembrance event  to another it was great to find myself at incense impregnated St Faith's Church for a performance of the Crosby Symphony Orchestra. The concert entitled The Sound of Scandinavia was adventuress and the musicians pulled it off magnificently.

There were some well know works like Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite which was followed by stunning performance of Sibelius's Violin Concerto with Thelma Handy as the soloist.  It does confirm the quality of the Crosby band that they can command the services of such a accomplish player and the applause after the piece delayed the interval for some little while. Equally impressive is the fact that Johnathon Small is their conductor. (Back in 1993 I bought a CD of his highly acclaimed Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto .) I must admit that I like this Northern music that seems speak of  the long dark cold fire lit nights of winter. The effect was particularly pronounced as I was sat on the front row up close and personal with the double basses.

The whole of the second half was taken up with a performance of Nielsen's 4th Symphony  'The Inextinguishable' which to be honest was new to me and everyone sitting around me. You could tell by the orchestra's reaction at the end of the piece how delighted they were with their performance. Johnathon Small was alternatively hugging the score and lifting it high above his head for the audience to applaud. It was certainly exhilarating and I am sure that I was not the only one who went home to track down a recording so that I could listen again.

On the way out I met the Orchestra's Artist in Residence Diane Williams who was busy selling her 2017 calendars. So absorbed was she in her task that she spent several minutes trying to discover who I knew in the orchestra so she could sell be a picture before she noticed the clunking great chain around my neck.I was pleased to buy a calendar from her and fully intend to come back and hear the Orchestra again. Crosby is very lucky to have such an excellent amateur orchestra  (and such a delightful and enthusiastic artist in residence) and it was great to see some many people coming out on a cold winter's night to hear them.

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