26 November 2019
Our Autumn Concert on Thursday 21 November began with Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf – a work that was no doubt new to some and nostalgic for others. The piece was wonderfully narrated by acclaimed singer Ian Belsey and the Chamber Orchestra brought the tale to life. Each character was represented by a section or instrument: Peter – strings; Wolf – brass; Grandfather – bassoon; cat – clarinet; hunters’ guns – percussion; and, poignantly, the oboe represented the duck, who we last heard from - spoiler alert – inside the wolf’s stomach, having been swallowed whole. The interval was carefully placed at this point to allow a little recovery time.
The second part of the concert took us from A-ha' Take On Me (Senior Choir) and ABBA's Mamma Mia (Flutissimo) to a powerful concluding performance by the Symphony Orchestra of Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King and Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No.5. In between we enjoyed the music of Mozart, Handel, Vaughan Williams, Gossec, Fauré, Rachmaninoff, Menke and Schwartz, Clarke and Mason Williams. The prize for performing (brilliantly) the work of the highest number of composers goes to the Junior Choir whose Four Chords medley demonstrated that you only need four chords to write a song – in this case the same four chords, in the same order. The songs were: Don’t Stop Believin’; You’re Beautiful; Where Is The Love?; I’m Yours; Hey, Soul Sister; Can You Feel The Love Tonight; Take Me Home, Country Roads; Paparazzi; With Or Without You; She Will Be Loved; Let It Be; Forever Young. This fact undoubtedly surprised many in the audience - something to test out in the shower, perhaps.
In his programme introduction, John Hargreaves, Director of Music, explained that many of the evening's pieces were written in the minor key. The concert, however, was definitely a major triumph for all involved.