Review - Wednesday 11th March 2009 in Shrewsbury Abbey
Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra exuded confidence and co-ordination under the baton of John Moore and led by Paul Bramwell on Wednesday night. The musicians exploited to the full the grand surroundings, but variable acoustics, of Shrewsbury’s ancient Abbey Church, in admittedly chilly surroundings for the sizeable audience.
The exuberant Bizet Suite No 2 from “L’Arlésienne” was an excellent curtain-raiser, with the final of the four movements, “Farandole”, raising great expectations that were eminently fulfilled in the rest of the evening. The orchestra then swung into Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet” Fantasy where it brought the best out of the memorable love themes.
Ralph Vaughan Williams’s stunningly beautiful and evocative “A London Symphony” followed, in which he contrived to capture the sounds of the city where he lived for so long that he was proud to call himself a Londoner, although he was born in rural Gloucestershire.
If music is communication and a work of art without words, Vaughan Williams certainly demonstrated this in an epic composition which conjured up the street calls and sounds of the bustling market places of the capital city, and the gently lapping waters of the Thames, to perfection.
© Gordon Riley (reproduced by kind permission)