Review of The European Chamber Orchestra playing at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Chatteris last Friday, 18th March 2016

review European Chamber Orch 2016Chatteris Music Society presented an excellent concert by the European Chamber Orchestra at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Chatteris last Friday. This orchestra was led by a phenomenal violinist and person: Pawel  Zuzanski who not only stepped in the play the solo violin part when the planned soloists, Michel Gershwin (descendant of the famous George Gershwin) became ill, but also spoke several languages to  communicate with this eclectic group of instrumentalists from all over the world.  Members came from far away as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany,  Russia and Moldavia. Under Pawel’s guidance, this orchestra thrived. Reverting to the traditional way of leading, Pawel was one of the instrumentalists performing while he was also ‘conducting’. This produced the expected cohesive, intuitive effect.

The renowned trumpet soloist, Kirill Gusarov, also featured in this splendid concert.

The works performed included pieces by Glière, Hummel, , Albinoni, and Nielson.

A fine string octet by Glière opened the concert and these players played with assurance, their secure technique and clear understanding of the construction of the piece giving the music momentum. The melodic imitations within the piece were clearly marked; the cello was particularly sonorous.

The trumpet soloist for Hummel’s ‘Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in E flat major’ made his instrument sing like no other trumpet I have heard. His notes were secure, resonant and beautiful without any of the brassiness we associate with the instrument.  Even in the rapid tongued passages this performer demonstrated real precision and beauty of sound.

After interval came Schubert’s ‘Rondo for Violin and Orchestra in A major D438’ featuring the leader as solo violin player and together with the orchestra he brought out the joyfulness of Schubert’s melodies and created real depth in the differences of light and shade in the work.

With continental flair, the orchestra then played the well-known ‘Adagio in G minor for Strings’ by Albinoni and the final work of the programme was by the Danish composer Nielsen, featuring his ‘Little Suite for Strings op.1’ which was a delight, all its varied elements combined into one effective little group.  The middle waltz was particularly impressive.

The concert ended with two well-deserved encores: ‘Romanza’ by Mendez and a joyfully uninhibited, jazzy piece: ‘Musical Souvenir’ by Poltoratsky.

The next event will be the Pasadena Roof Orchestra on the 14th May.  contact: http://www.chatteris music society.org.uk.

 

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