Chichester Music Society: Miranda Dale with the University Chamber Orchestra

The University of Chichester Chamber Orchestra, under the musical direction of Crispin Ward, played for the Chichester Music Society Concert on 8 November at the University. 

The highlight of the evening was a performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major Opus 61. The special trumpets used on this occasion had been presented to the University by the Society. Crispin Ward thanked the Society who over the years had provided the Music Department with a number of musical instruments for the use of students, including a harp and violins.

The soloist was Miranda Dale. She played with absolute conviction, and her enthusiasm and skill immediately brought out the best in the members of the orchestra whose performance was outstanding. The whole experience considerably enhanced the feelings of joy and elation that the piece generates. Every change of mood, that started with the soloist, was seamlessly taken up by the orchestra. It was energetically conducted by Crispin Ward, and the whole effective performance was much appreciated by the audience. 

The evening had begun with the playing of a symphony by little-known English composer and one-time Chichester resident, John Marsh, who lived from 1752-1828. He had written at least 39 symphonies and the piece chosen was Symphony No 7 in E Flat Major [La Chasse]. This, as the nickname suggests, was based on a fox hunt and the words used to describe the music are “a romp” or “equine frolic”. The musicians obviously enjoyed the galloping music, and it was a very appropriate introduction to the evening. This piece was ably conducted by student Saba Safa.

After the interval the orchestra concluded with a performance of Handel’s Water Music Suites, conducted by James Thomas. It was pointed out that the first performance of this Suite had taken place on an unusual date, namely 17/7/1717. 

Chris Hough, Chairman of Chichester Music Society, thanked the musicians saying, “This was another superb concert by the University Chamber Orchestra, and especially a wonderful performance by soloist Miranda Dale in the Beethoven. The Society is fortunate to be associated with the University and its music-making!”

Chris Linford

Image credit: Thomas-Skovsende

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