Review: Solent Symphony Orchestra: Spring Classics

The Solent Symphony Orchestra presented a heartwarming programme entitled ‘Spring Classics ‘ at St. Thomas’ Cathedral last Saturday.

The three works are certainly stalwarts of the repertoire, and for good reason, possessing as they do a wealth of creative inspiration. Mozart’s overture to his opera The Magic Flute was taken at a tempo suitable to the resonant acoustic of the Cathedral, but in no way lacked sparkle. Conductor Steve Tanner was always sensitive to the harmonic movement of the music, and the performance was characterised by crisp string playing, warm brass tone and clean, shapely woodwind lines.

Soloist Alexandra Peel joined the orchestra for a beautiful account of Concerto no. 1 in G minor by Max Bruch. Alexandra achieved an intense romanticism without veering into sentimentality, and exhibited a wonderful tone which was never overblown.

I greatly enjoyed the orchestra’s performance of Brahms’ Symphony no. 2. Written in the sunny key of D major, this was a performance of depth and warmth. The first movement Allegro non troppo flowed and danced by turn, with the second subject being particularly persuasive. Syncopations were nicely pointed too. The Adagio non troppo was suitably emotional, but attention to the complexity of texture and rhythm was never compromised. An attractive Allegretto grazioso followed, with the charming feel of a Bavarian minuet! The woodwind section demonstrated much elegance here. The contrasting Presto section was very lively and full of neat articulation. The finale , Allegro con spirito, lived up to its name, being highly energetic and colourful. The wonderful brass section brought the symphony to a triumphant conclusion.

Karen Kingsley

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