Monday, June 22, 2009

Milton Keynes Sinfonia concert

22 June 2009

It was good to be playing again with Milton Keynes Sinfonia on Saturday in a concert that included 'Danse Macabre' by Saint-Saens and an impressive performance from Jacqueline Johnson of the 'Cello Concerto' by Lalo. The main attraction, however, was the mighty 'Symphonie Fantastique' by Berlioz - a 'big' work in every sense: five long movements requiring a massive orchestra. (Berlioz stipulates, for example, that it should be performed with "no fewer than six harps": we only managed to find two harpists but they did sound wonderful!) It was interesting, however, after having been playing Mussorgsky/Ravel and Richard Strauss for the past few months, how 'classical' the 'Symphonie Fantastique' feels - very much closer to Beethoven's symphonies (though this is Beethoven "turned up to 11"!). It's also a very programmatic piece (originally entitled 'An Episode in the Life of an Artist') with movements including a 'Ball', the famous 'March to the Scaffold' and the 'Witches Sabbath'. It's a very exciting piece to play - albeit one requiring a high degree of concentration - with a (literally) breathtaking ending. It was great fun and I think we gave a very good account of this challenging work. The concert was dedicated to the memory of Mrs Zillah Knight (the mother of the orchestra's conductor David Knight) who sadly passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Labels: ,


At 8:50 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice review. Bears repetition.



Post a Comment

<< Home