Thursday, October 21, 2010

Northampton Symphony Orchestra concert

21 October 2010

It is the proud boast of the Northampton Symphony Orchestra that the composer Sir Malcolm Arnold played trumpet in the orchestra as a schoolboy in Northampton. So it was particularly fitting for us to be invited to perform in St Matthew’s Church last Saturday as part of The Official Malcolm Arnold Festival 2010. We joined forces with the Abingdon Choral Society under the baton of our mutual conductor Alexander Walker to tackle Arnold’s rarely performed large-scale choral and orchestral work ‘Return of Odysseus’. Perhaps not his greatest work but it was a very interesting experience, and featured some impressive solos from members of the choir. We also performed the Concert Suite from Malcolm Arnold’s ballet ‘Sweeney Todd’. This was also a new piece to me and seemed more quintessentially Arnold with some great tunes, dramatic effects and tongue firmly in cheek. ‘Sweeney Todd’ combines dark menace with the cheery spirit of music hall: it was an effective and exciting performance that seemed to be greatly appreciated by an enthusiastic audience of Malcolm Arnold aficionados.

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