Review - Wednesday 30th November 2011 in the Alington Hall, Shrewsbury School
A large audience turned up at the Alington Hall of Shrewsbury School to support the latest concert by Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra continues to impress, not just with its quality but also in its ambitious programming. Works by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius appeared in both halves of the concert. The single-movement 7th symphony of 1924 is a difficult piece for both orchestra and audience, as it lacks traditional formal design and demands great concentration. There were some tentative moments but conductor John Moore achieved fluency in the development of the thematic fragments on which the work is constructed. The Karelia suite was much more assured, with the brass section delivering its fanfare-like passages with relish and allowing the audience to enjoy the familiar melodies of this appealing score.
Local trumpeter Wendy Jones was the soloist in the concerto by the Armenian composer Alexander Arutunian and the work’s contrasting moods were captured sensitively in a polished and absorbing performance.
The concert ended with Schumann’s ‘Spring’ symphony, which produced some of the most confident playing of the evening, notably in the last two movements which were purposeful and stylish. Thoughts of springtime were particularly welcome on this damp November evening. John Moore conducted with his customary musical insight, displaying secure control of the large forces that this programme required.
© Bob Wysome (reproduced by kind permission)