Concert Review

It is a particularly British trait to downplay our achievements and to minimise our expectations of ourselves, and with such statements repeated to me (more than once!) in relation to Ashford Sinfonia, so I came to the concert on Sunday.
The Sinfonia is generally a well-balanced ensemble – good to see all string parts filled, along with proportionate wind and brass representation, all players being what I gather are either adult learners or those returning to their instruments after a time ‘resting’.
Under Wes’s baton and obviously thoughtful rehearsal techniques key elements of musicality were present and correct: the opening pianissimo of Calm sea and Prosperous Voyage, for example, was as good as would be heard anywhere. Dynamics – often the first thing to be lost in performance conditions – were pleasingly approached throughout, crescendi and diminuendi being particularly attractive.
The Scottish Symphony is not a straightforward work by any means, and whilst the second movement scherzo presented the players with perhaps their toughest challenge of the afternoon, the wit and humour of the folk-song melodies was carried with cheerful vigour.
There was never any suggestion or expectation that these would be particularly polished performances – and that doesn’t matter. The Ashford Sinfonia is clearly a much greater sum than its individual parts, and is a perfect example of what community music-making should be about: like-minded individuals coming together to enjoy themselves in a shared purpose.
Wishing you every success with your accommodation search, hope to see you again for the next one!
Lucas Elkin
Lucas is the Musical Director of Cambridge Operatic Society and regularly directs choirs and orchestras in the East Anglia region. He also happens to be Susan’s son and Carole’s nephew!

About rogerpinnock

Chairman of Ashford Sinfonia
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