Lavenham Sinfonia: September Concert

Lavenham Sinfonia's September Concert, Lavenham Church, Sunday 2 September

Lavenham Sinfonia's September Concert, Lavenham Church, Sunday 2 September

A packed audience was there in Lavenham Church to hear Andrew Leach, the soloist in Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto, bring a popular Sinfonia programme to a powerful conclusion.

Andrew Leach, who is the Director of Music at Ipswich School, gave a bold account of this great transitional concerto, capturing well both the lyricism and the more turbulent elements which were to characterise Beethoven's heroic phase.

Until the Lavenham Sinfonia was given a piano, the orchestra was unable to contemplate including a piano concerto in the programming. I was interested to see whether the balance with the instrument would be right in the church's acoustic and, in fact, it all fitted rather well.


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The four works performed in the programme were all written within a space of forty years from 1791 and illustrate music in transition over the period. The first, the Overture to the Magic Flute, was written just months before Mozart's death. Its stately opening bars make a sonorous beginning for a concert and the Sinfonia under Frederick Marshall caught the joyousness of the allegro movement.

Schubert's Unfinished Symphony - chronologically following two decades after the Beethoven concerto - was a delight, with the orchestra's string section in fine form as they were for the whole of the concert.

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The fourth work was Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture, inspired by the composer's visit to Fingal's Cave and recreating the wildness of the seascape.

This, the highly enjoyable third concert of the Lavenham Sinfonia season, was one of those evenings when the melodies were well-known. So much so that someone, not too far from me, launched into the occasional hum. I managed, I think, not to twitch.

Ivan Howlett

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