Review - Wed 18 Jun 2014
Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra presented its summer concert at the Abbey , with a programme of music drawn mostly from the classical age. Mozart’s overture to ‘ The Marriage of Figaro’ began the concert with scampering strings providing the launching pad for a convincing entry by the full orchestral forces. Sam Pearce was the soloist in Mozart’s 4th horn concerto and his flawless technique was impressive. There could possibly have been greater dynamic contrast in the first two movements, but the piece really came to life in the well-known final movement , made even more famous by the Flanders and Swann vocal version. The first half ended with Prokofiev’s’ tongue in cheek’ Classical symphony, a work which combines classical structure with more modern techniques. Despite a few indecisive moments the performance had some sparkle as conductor John Moore kept the music flowing at some pace.
Beethoven’s 7th symphony was played in the second half - a splendid work which has many challenges for all sections of the orchestra, but it was successfully delivered with a particularly well crafted slow movement and a pacy scherzo movement which stretched the techniques of the wind players who also had to endure a rather warm evening, making crisp, consistent articulation difficult. But the greatest challenge was yet to come - conductor John Moore took the last movement at breakneck speed which kept the orchestra on their toes ( and some of the string players almost on their knees). There were moments of great anxiety but the orchestra responded to the conductor’s demands and finished the work with a flourish. It has been an exciting season for this orchestra with many highlights - congratulations to all concerned.
© Bob Wysome (reproduced by kind permission)