Review: of Chatteris Music Society’s Chamber Philharmonic Europe Concert at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul Chatteris on Friday 21st March 2014

Chatteris Music Society was on a winner when it invited the Chamber Philharmonic Europe Orchestra to present a concert at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Chatteris last Friday.
There was nothing boring or dated about this orchestra, even though they performed classic pieces. It was no wonder, for I discovered that the leader Michel Gershwin and his son Pavel are related to the American composer George Gershwin of ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ fame. Originating from Russia, the family name should be Gershovich, I was told, and the name ‘Gershwin’ is an Anglicised form. Michel also told me that their surname is changed according to the country in which they play, revealing the true ‘European’ nature of this amazing group.
The instrumentalists exuded energy, excitement, colour and virtuosic flair in their playing. The Vivaldi concerto for strings sparkled, the continuo forming a firm foundation. Trumpeter Kirill Gusarov played Albinoni’s trumpet concerto with particularly clean tonguing, sonorous phrasing and with a real sense of joy in performance. The orchestra performed Bach’s concerto for violin and orchestra with mesmerising vivacity, spirit and character.
The three works that followed after interval also excelled and featured Holst’s attractive ‘Saint Paul’s Suite’ for strings and orchestra, Wolf’s quirky but highly enjoyable ‘Italian Serenade’ and the graceful Mozart ‘Divertimento in F’.
The two encores were received enthusiastically by the packed audience and included a delightful piece featuring the trumpet followed by a highly entertaining work that started as Mozart and then cheekily branched out into a bit of Beethoven (with echoes of ‘Fur Elise’ and the 5th Symphony), a dash of – was it the Jewish song ‘Havanagela’,the Pizzicato Polka, a Viennese Waltz, a bit of Brahms’ Hungarian Dance? Whatever the case, the musicians’ sheer unadulterated joy in creating unforgettable, highly entertaining and first-rate music throughout the evening was awe-inspiring.
You are advised to book early for the next concert on Saturday 10th May: ‘An Evening of Music with Amit Yahav’.

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