Maestro’s musings on our July concert

This post comes to you from a sunbed by a pool on the Greek island of Crete. Having had a little too much sun the last couple of days I am staying in the shade today which allows me a some time
to ponder and listen to some great music and musicians (more on that in another post)

I have been thinking about our last concert…. Our main contribution was Finlandia by Sibelius. I was familiar with the main theme, not least because of its use as a hymn tune, but only vaguely aware of the rest of the piece. As we came to know the music well over the weeks of preparing it I have become very fond of it. It is a perfect piece of music for our orchestra presenting elements of challenge – both in terms of musicianship and technical ability to fit the notes in. It has been really good to be able to get beyond wrestling with the notes and to be able to work on the subtleties of phrasing, playing together, dynamics and
accent. Not only do I think our performance of Finlandia was the most musically satisfying of anything we have played to date I also think it is the piece through which we have developed the
most. So well done to everyone!

The Mastersingers overture was always going to be a challenge- not particularly because the notes are harder than other things we have played but because of the organic nature of much of the
music. There are only a few places where there are clear “sections” of music, i.e. clear musical moments of change that allow anyone who has temporarily lost their bearings to join in again! However I thought we gave a decent rendition. We knew we could play the beginning and end well. The concern was whether we would all reach the end part together – and we did!

The soloists and our string quartet all did excellent jobs- in accompanying these (except the string quartet) I can confidently say that the concert performances were the best performances any of have done so far and you can’t ask anymore than that!

All in all a good concert!

Wes Carroll

About rogerpinnock

Chairman of Ashford Sinfonia
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