This term’s orchestral concert took place in Holy Trinity Church. In front of a large and supportive audience of parents and staff, Concerto Consort and the RGS Symphony Orchestra took to the stage in what was the culmination of over a term’s worth of intense rehearsals and hard work by students and staff alike.
The concert opened with Joseph Bologne’s Symphony No 1 in G Major. Performance of intricate and refined music such as this is often very hard to accomplish, but under the baton of Dale Chambers, Concerto Consort rose to the challenge and mastered the tricky string writing with relative ease. The second movement required a sense of grace and poise, whilst the energetic and exuberant rhythmic figures of the closing movement demanded a lightness of touch and nimble finger work from the entire ensemble.
In a quick change of mood, Concerto Consort then performed Elgar’s miniature masterpiece, Sospiri. This intensely beautiful piece for strings and harp is a work of considerable substance and necessitated the greatest level of concentration form all involved. Notable solos for both violin and cello were exquisitely performed by Joseph Ryan and Robbie Mackay.
Under the direction of Sam Orchard, the Symphony Orchestra took to the stage with a programme of ceremonial music for state occasions, both celebratory and reflective. Featuring the music of Elgar and Walton, the orchestra was on fine form and skilfully mastered the transition from the pomp and pageantry required by Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No 4 and Walton’s Crown Imperial to the poignant sense of nostalgia and loss of Elgar’s Nimrod. These were powerful performances from start to finish and showcased the real depth of musicianship in this senior ensemble. The centrepiece of the programme was Dvorak’s Largo from Symphony No 9 in E minor. This most famous of all symphonic movements is no mean undertaking and requires a secure sense of ensemble and outstanding soloists. The famous cor anglais melody was safe in the hands of Thomas Dowdeswell who performed this solo with assurance.
This was a truly fantastic evening of music making of the highest quality and performances were met with rapturous and well-deserved applause.