Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Northampton Symphony Orchestra concert

19 November 2014

Last Saturday the Northampton Symphony Orchestra paid tribute to David Lack in a memorial concert at Christchurch in Northampton. Dave, who died in January, was the Principal Horn player in the NSO for many years. When I inherited that seat, at the start of Dave's illness, I always felt I was just keeping it warm for him. It still feels strange playing NSO concerts without him. Our programme on Saturday was one that Dave would have enjoyed playing. We started with the meaty 'Academic Festival Overture' by Brahms before playing the 'Horn Concerto No 1' by Richard Strauss with Katrina Lauder. Katrina was one of Dave's pupils and I know he was immensely proud of her as she developed a professional career as a horn player. Katrina's beautiful tone sounded wonderful in the cavernous acoustic of Christchurch, particularly in the haunting slow movement, and she nailed the fiendishly difficult finale at a breathtaking speed. I was also captivated by the rapid rippling arpeggios passed between the two flutes in the last movement – a beautiful moment exquisitely played by Mara Griffiths and Andrea Patis. The concert finished with Tchaikowsky's 'Symphony No 4', an exciting and exhausting work. Our conductor, John Gibbons, steered us to a thrilling performance, ending what was an emotional occasion with a feeling of triumph and joy. I think we did Dave proud and I know he would have enjoyed it.

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