Review: Wolsey Orchestra, Verdi-Brahms-Elgar, Ipswich Corn Exchange, October 15

Wolsey Orchestra, Verdi-Brahms-Elgar, Ipswich Corn Exchange, October 15

The Wolsey Orchestra has an admirable commitment to providing a platform for local soloists and the combination of an attractive programme and Ipswich soloist resulted in an enthusiastic audience in the Corn Exchange.

Before any thoughts on the music, a word of praise should go to Rosy Payne for her excellent programme notes.

In La Forza del Destino the brass and woodwind had power and bite and conductor William Carslake drew the differing moods and tempi into a convincing whole with his clear and authoritative beat.

Brahms’ Violin Concerto is at the summit of the violin repertory (Beethoven or Brahms - Everest or K2? is an intriguing debate). Taking up the challenges of technique and interpretation was eighteen year old Rosemary Hinton, already with two years experience as co-leader of the National Youth Orchestra. The introduction allows ample time for soloist nerves but Rosemary was calmness itself as the downward semiquaver figures propelled her to her entry. The opening ascent was strong and confident, settling into a sweet toned reprise of the opening theme. She continued to play with astonishing command and control, the multiple stopping holding no fears for her. The woodwind distinguished themselves with accurate and sensitive playing in the wonderful slow movement while Rosemary weaved a delicate yet secure thread around the melodic line. She and the orchestra fully captured the earthy vigour of the finale and the performance was a triumph for everyone concerned. Rosemary is a violinist of outstanding abilities with the personality and poise to achieve a great deal in the future.

Elgar’s first symphony opens with one of his finest tunes and conductor and orchestra invested it with just the right proportions of nobility and restraint. In the Allegro the depth and complexity of Elgar’s orchestration was fully realised and the mercurial mood changes of the scherzo were effectively done. The slow movement and finale both enjoyed passages in which the orchestra produced a blazing, fully rounded sound and the hectic closing bars gave a final flourish to an excellent evening.

Gareth Jones.