** Positive Notes about Various Concerts **

Season - 2017/2018

(as reviewed by Roger Swann )

See also reviews of other seasons


15th Oct 2017 - 15:00 hrs Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra - Mark Heron (conductor) - Ben Goldscheider (horn)

Albert Hall, Nottingham

A chance to hear the BBC Young Musician brass finalist, Ben Goldscheider playing Strauss 2 was definitely something not to be missed. This young man makes a wonderful "Alexander" horn sound. It was a joy to hear him "waltz through" this fantastic but fiendishly tricky concerto.

Doing exactly what quality amateur orchestras should be doing, the NPO programmed a less frequently performed symphony as the second half of the concert. They played Nielson's 5th Symphony with great style, getting the swinging phrasing that is so distinctive of the composer in the glorious long phrases perfectly; they also captured the pianissimo agitated but insecure moments too.


14th Oct 2017 - 19:30 hrs Operatic Arias - Derek Williams (conductor) - Il Bel Quatrto Vocal Quartet - Naomi Quant (soprano)

Beeston Parish Church, Beeston, Nottingham

Roger Swann = horn

Arranged as part of the Oxjam Beeston Music Festival (with all proceeds going to Oxfam) this concert was a chance to play some of the great operatic show pieces. The huge task of putting this all together was down to Geoff Harbach (the bass of the Il Bel Quatro quartet). The singers relished the chance to sing some of these great tunes with orchestral backing and guest soprano, Naomi Quant, with her professionally trained soprano voice was just the icing on the cake.


30th Sept 2017 - 19:30 hrs Knighton Chamber Orchestra - Paul Jenkins (conductor) - Richard Meads (Tuba) - Fenella Humphreys (violin)

Fraser Noble Hall, Leicester

Roger Swann = horn (Shostakovich)

Paul Jenkins is never one to shy away from varied concert programming or programmes where the real meat of the performance is in the last piece played.

This evening the rarity was the American Arthur Frankenpohl's Tuba Concerto. A short, tuneful work which allowed soloist Richard Meads to demonstrate is technical skill in the entire range of the tuba.

An enjoyable performance of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf (narrator Andrew Radford) featured various young children acting out the roles of the story. It was very charming and also gave youngsters and parents a chance to sample what was to follow.

What followed was certainly worth sampling! Fenella Humphreys gave a stunning performance of Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1. From the siberian intensity of the opening movement to the terrifyingly fast scherzo through the elaborate cadenza and with the climax of the finale every note carried emotional weight. The audience, like the players, were shell shocked.


23rd Sept 2017 - 19:30 hrs - The Charnwood Orchestra - Nic Fallowfield - Timothy Taylorson (flute)

Holy Trinity Church, Barrow upon Soar

Continuing their tradition of opening the season with a chamber orchestra programme, this concert included a very energetic "Dance of the Furies" by Gluck, surely the inspiration for some of Wagner's more energetic string writing?.

The concert ended with a joyful account of Schubert's fifth symphony which included a delightfully playful rubato in the third movment trio.


22nd Sept 2017 - 19:30 hrs - Leicester International Music Festival - Event 4 - LIMF Festival Ensemble

Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester

The Leicester International Music Festival continues to delivery chamber music of the highest quality in Leicester.

From the opening bars to the final chord Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva performance of Bach's Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV582 as arranged by Max Reger had power, weight and depth as well as great precision

The same could equally be said for the festival ensembles performance of Schumann's Piano Quintet in E flat Op 44. (really gritty tone from violist Richard O'Neil).


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