New Bristol Sinfonia - Reviews
Published in the Bristol Evening Post, 27th June 2005
New Bristol Sinfonia, Victoria Rooms.
The NBS are renowned for introducing the lesser known pieces of the orchestral repertoire to Bristol audiences.
It is not often that you would hear a Mahler symphony in the International Series but for an amateur orchestra to attempt such a mighty work is very commendable.
BRAHMS' ACADEMIC OVERTURE contains some dramatic writing and is based on student songs. The orchestra gave a rousing performance of this piece which ends with the famous GAUDRAMUS LEITUR.
WAGNER'S PRELUDE & LIEBESTOD is unashamedly 'programme' music. From the sinuous melodic lines of the Prelude to the powerful ending in which the brass section has such an important part before the music dies away. The Sinfonia were in top form.
Any Mahler symphony requires large forces and the N.B.S. involved over 90 players in the 1st. Each of the four sections has a lot of work to do and they all coped admirably with the intricate scoring.
The slow introduction plunges straight into the composer's unmistakable sound whilst the rustic scherzo gives plenty of opportunity to the horns.
The mock funeral march based on Frere Jacques leads straight into the explosive finale in which the climax was truly breathtaking with the brass battling with the timpani.
Guest conductor Jason Lai is to be congratulated on obtaining such a tremendous presentation from his amateur players which was as good as any professional performance I have heard of this particular symphony.
Concert was held on Saturday 25th June 2005 - archived information can be viewed here.
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