Orchestral performance is a resounding success

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THE Peebles Orchestra concert at Kingsland School on Saturday May 11th was a huge success.

Robert Dick had chosen a program that had a few rarities, the orchestra was in top form throughout the evening, and was elegantly conducted by him.

Daniel Auber’s opening Le Domino Noir was new to me.

The downbeat produced a dramatic start to the concert, with the cellos, basses and bassoons providing a solid foundation. A soft wooden choir announced one of the themes, later beautiful flute, piccolo and clarinet solos with the occasional support of the trumpets. The upper strings also made their rich presence. A gradual Rossini-style crescendo, which the Italian master had created 20 years earlier, beautifully mastered by the conductor, brought us to the coda.

Mark Wilson was the solo violin of Lalo’s Spanish five-movement Symphony

work with a strong Spanish flavor that requires every branch of the player’s violin technique. Wilson embraced difficulties with great confidence and produced a lush tone in the most lyrical moments. The dance of the second movement like the scherzando produced skillful fingering. The 3rd movement had a seductive, slow dance atmosphere played with aplomb. The final notes, a nice pizzicato exchange between the soloist and the strings of the orchestra.

The next movement, an Andante, began with a sincere chorale of brass and wind instruments producing a rich tone. A wonderful rich vibrato from the soloist, weaving a delicious web of this king of instruments.

Finally, the Rondo, that lively piece that most people will recognize, with skillful accompaniment from the woodwinds, the soloist gave us an excellent performance, while producing the necessary sadness in the larger contrasting theme. Robert Dick created an excellent accompaniment throughout this wonderful piece.

The second half started with Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No.17. This composer was passionate about the music of the Hungarian gypsies. Twenty-one in all originally for piano in duet, few were orchestrated by him, the rest by others, this one the first of the last five were orchestrated by Dvorak. A slow introduction with lovely woodwinds and cellos. Other highlights were the beautiful first violins,

with the violas of Judith Buttars which color the coda. The orchestra had fewer strings than usual, however, regular players created a rich tone.

The concert ended with the music of a master orchestrator, Antonin Dvorak, his symphonic poem ‘The golden wheel’ Excellent ‘the cellos set the wheel in motion, then the excellent horns of the PO had a splendid entry on display, as the piece began, we could hear the rich sound of the bassoon. Brass really

shone in this work in one movement. Too much to mention, but frontman Claire Taylor’s solo stood out. Beautiful clarinet, flute and English horn solos, the harp coloring the woods, with the excellent piccolo climbing the ranks in this brilliant score. The interlocking of the violas and flutes in the 6/8 section, the high singing violins leading to the exultant coda, all gems.

A most enjoyable evening.

Kenneth mcallister


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