Lavenham Sinfonia, July 8

Lavenham Sinfonia, Lavenham Church, July 8

Lavenham Sinfonia, Lavenham Church, July 8

Jeanine Thorpe, the 18-year-old violinist from Framlingham, gave her very first performance of one of music's great masterpieces - the Beethoven Violin Concerto - in Lavenham Church on Sunday.

She'll remember the occasion as she surely heads for an outstanding career and so will the audience. The work has a supreme elegance with soloist and orchestra together exploring the work's exquisite themes. Jeanine and the Lavenham Sinfonia under Frederick Marshall pursued the conversation between solo instrument and orchestra with both control and moving warmth.

This was Jeanine Thorpe's third East Anglian concert of the weekend, having performed the Sibelius at Grays and at Chelmsford. Even so she thrilled the Lavenham Sinfonia audience with the exuberance of her playing.

The second concert in the Lavenham Sinfonia Season opened with a rare treat. The wind section of the orchestra was given its head. Charles Gounod was not a prolific composer of instrumental music but in the 1880s he wrote the Petite Symphonie for a wind ensemble conducted by the hugely influential flautist, Paul Taffenel. Lavenham Sinfonia's ensemble of oboes, clarinets, bassoons and horns with a single leading flute (played by Sue Wigglesworth) gave a splendid account of this charming work, which is full of melody and rich harmony.

For the other work of the evening the Lavenham Sinfonia gave a performance of Mozart's Haffner Symphony. This work, composed in a very short time for the ceremonial occasion honouring a member of Saltzburg's wealthy Haffner family, has a celebratory clarity and balance, a graceful andante and a vigorous finale, all of which the Sinfonia captured well. So well, in fact, the Sinfonia could have chosen to open the programme with it and then led on to the smaller scale Gounod wind ensemble work.

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Ivan Howlett

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