Friday, April 22, 2016

Milton Keynes City Orchestra concert

22 April 2016

It feels quite old fashioned to start an orchestral concert by playing the national anthem but this week's Milton Keynes City Orchestra concert coincided with the Queen's 90th birthday on Thursday and the whole audience was on its feet singing 'God Save The Queen'. The concert, in the magnificent new auditorium at 'The Venue' at Walton High in Milton Keynes, featured 'Haydn's Symphony No 103 (The Drumroll)' followed by the 'Violin Concerto No 5' written by the 19-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and played exquisitely by the young violinist Aleksandra Li – a winner of this year's Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe competition. The performance finished with Prokofiev's 'Symphony No 1 (Classical)' – a short symphony written in 1916 that draws on the classical tradition of Haydn and Mozart but adds twentieth century harmonies. I hadn't heard the Classical Symphony for years and was reminded what a perfect piece it is. Hearing a small orchestra playing it at close quarters was really exciting. It felt like the professional players of the MKCO, precise and comfortable in the Haydn and Mozart, were much more on the edge of their seats for the Prokofiev: it was a thrilling and charming performance under their new Musical Director, Damian Iorio.

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