Posts Tagged ‘Gershwin’

Review of the concert given by Ely Sinfonia and Martin Roscoe concert in Ely Cathedral on Saturday 22nd October 2016 (photos featuring Steve Bingham Martin Roscoe and members of the audience Dr Arthur and Colin Wills)

October 23, 2016

review-gershwin-16-arthur-and-colin-wills-yreview-gershwin-16-steve-bingham-yEly Sinfonia members, under the directorship of Steve Bingham, were excellent on Saturday when they performed works by Bernstein, Gershwin and Aaron Copland in Ely Cathedral. They handled the tricky rhythms, rapid runs and sonorous harmonies with real aplomb. This orchestra has certainly come on a long way since it first started.

The star solo performer of the night was Martin Roscoe, a highly accomplished and experienced musician. He played Gershwin’s ‘Piano Concerto in F’ with calm assurance, using an amazing variety of touch and virtuosic technique that made the piece sparkle. He gave the impression of playing in three-dimensions, sharp melodic phrases being brought out clearly with other subsidiary phrases shaped carefully underneath.  He had that special quality that only first class pianists have; he pulled back almost imperceptivity with Gershwin’s emotional passages so that every nuance of feeling was explored. When Martin said at interval that he enjoyed his visit to Ely Cathedral, I am sure we certainly enjoyed having him come and considering his wealth of knowledge of piano concertos it is to be hoped he comes again.

Of the purely orchestral pieces for the evening, Aaron Copland’s ‘Quiet City’ appealed to me most. This mostly quiet composition was performed very well, conveying exquisitely a serenity that created a magical atmosphere, stirring the imagination wonderfully.

Bernstein’s ‘Overture to Candide’ was colourful and expressive with the changes in dynamics brought out particularly well. In Aaron Copland’s ‘Appalachian Spring’, the performers gave a highly skilful and entertaining performance giving us fitting snippets of America that ended the evening perfectly. It was heartening to hear the well known tune ‘Simple Gifts’ included. (This tune is known to us as ‘The Lord of the Dance’.)

It was indeed a splendid evening. Ely Sinfonia’s next major event will be ‘Symphonie Metamorphosis’ with works by Hindemith, Ravel and Franck on 6 May 2017 in Ely Cathedral.



Review: Cambridge Music Festival: Come Tango

November 26, 2009

Cambridge, one of the country’s pinnacles of academic endeavour, showed another side of its multifaceted character in Come Tango, a concert for the Cambridge Music Festival . This event celebrated rare rhythmic abandonment that only the most joyous of Latin rhythms can stimulate.

Conductor Darrell Davison, gyrating with mesmerizing authority, inspired Cambridge Orchestra to moments of flamboyant ecstasy (exemplified by Braziliana by Ricardo de Pandeiros), sophistication (exemplified by Gerswin’s Rumba) or potent tensions that are integral characteristics of the Tango (exemplified by the works of Piazzolla).

The evening was filled with varied expressions of that magnetic dance that has universal appeal. Works included Le Grand Tango, Libergano and Soledad  (Piazzolla), Three Tangos (Mátyás Seiber), Tomo y Obligo and Por una Cabeza (Carlos Gardel), and Malambo (Alberto Ginastera).

Dancers added colour and vitality to the experience with carefully choreographed movements ranging from the mesmerizing minimalism and potent interaction of Ivan Arandia and Rachel Greenberg to the empathetic flurries and swift manoeuvres of the other dancers: Richard Manuel , Jenny Sayer, Hilmar Gudmundsoon, Natalia Safianbowicz, Costa Rocos and Floridia Ferrara. The highly accomplished solo cellist Liubov Ulybysheva also enhanced the performances considerably.

With abundant percussion pulsating infectious rhythms, this highly energized evening culminated with a splendid performance of Ravel’s Boléro. Although this familiar work is based on the constant repetition of that famous snare drum rhythm and the gradual developing melodic phrases, this performance thrived on variety and breathed life into the music as the dancers interwove their unforgettable interpretations.