The Amadeus Orchestra
Wiltshire Music Centre
Last night to the Wiltshire Music Centre to see the Amadeus Orchestra. This organisation runs residential courses for young professional musicians and music students, presenting concerts in Britain and elsewhere. Many of its Alumni have had succesful careers throughout the world. As far as I'm aware this is the first visit of this Orchestra to the W.M.C.
It was a shame but not a tragedy that the clarinettist cracked during the opening glissando of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, I've known far more experienced players fall at that particular fence, but it really didn't matter, there wasn't a foot wrong in the rest of the piece with Malcolm Forbes-Peckham giving a fine performance at the keyboard.
I have rather a soft spot for the music of Gerald Finzi and this rendering of his Cello Concerto reinforced my feelings. Although I'm not sure Raphael Wallfisch brought his best cello as the sound wasn't as mellow as I would have liked, though when I mentioned this to a more knowledgeable neighbour he gave me a rather old-fashioned look so it might have been me, of course the, dare I say harshness, worked well in the more edgy parts. But there was nowt wrong with the playing, he was brilliant, passionate but in control, and he was well supported by the band with some excellent work in the woodwinds and first fiddles.
Stravinsky's Petrouchka took up the second half and it was fantastic, wonderful work throughout the orchestra. It would be invidious to pick out any individuals but the brass section, and especially the solo trumpet were magnificent. And the only time that the conductor, Phillip Mackenzie, intruded into the scene was at the end, as, at the climax, his strings were cut. (if you don't know what that means, look it up).
There was a lollipop, great fun, comprising a montage of popular operatic tunes, I can't for the life of me remember what it's called nor who wrote it, but it was a brilliant finale to a fine concert. To quote my more knowledgeable neighbour "They can come again!".
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