New Bristol Sinfonia - Reviews
English greats on show in stirring performance Published in the Bristol Evening Post, 11th October 2004
New Bristol Sinfonia: Victoria Rooms.
New Bristol Sinfonia's third concert of their current [season] came under the title English Greats and featured three prominent British composers.
Benjamin Britten's enigmatic A Time There Was is a suite based on English folk tunes, and the orchestra gave a clear-sighted performance of this interesting work.
Elgar's Enigma Variations is probably this composer's most popular work, in which 14 different people are sketched in various musical forms. Each of the "friends pictured within" were strongly characterised by the musicians. From the warmth and subtlety of the opening theme to the power of the finale, this was a rendition of high quality. Particularly moving was the famous Nimrod.
There is a feeling of personal victory and fulfilment in William Walton's First Symphony. The beginning is riveting. Opening with a gorgeous extended flute solo, the movement builds with an ever-mounting tension to a tumultuous climax.
A colourful scherzo is followed by an andante of a deeply melancholy mood, while the climatic finale includes an outburst from multiple timpani (excellently played by Andrew Tyrell) and percussion to bring this work to a rousing conclusion.
The strings and brass were particularly impressive and the superb conductor, James Lowe, is to be congratulated on presenting such an excellent concert, which was fully appreciated by the large audience at the Victoria Rooms.
Concert was held on Saturday 9th October 2004 - archived information can be viewed here.
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