Snape relishes musical youth

Snape Proms, Suffolk Youth Orchestra - Philip ShawALWAYS a welcome visitor to the Snape proms the Suffolk Youth Orchestra, fresh from a successful Spanish tour fielded, as is their custom, an adventurous programme for Sunday's concert.

Snape Proms, Suffolk Youth Orchestra - Philip Shaw

ALWAYS a welcome visitor to the Snape proms the Suffolk Youth Orchestra, fresh from a successful Spanish tour fielded, as is their custom, an adventurous programme for Sunday's concert.

Each work provided plenty of scope for demonstrating the orchestra's talents, none more so than Bernstein's brilliant overture Candide, with conductor Philip Shaw getting fine playing from an orchestra on great form.

There is a deal of stylistic variety in each of the five movements of Poulenc's suite Les Biches, which the composer drew from his ballet score, originally commissioned by Diaghilev. It's witty, charming and sophisticated music and if some of the latter was missing, generally the orchestra had the measure of the music with some notably fine wind playing.


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Enjoyable enough but not quite so successful was Elgar's overture Cockaigne. Despite all the good tunes its dense orchestration makes it always a difficult piece to bring off satisfactorily, and what one particularly missed here was really incisive playing from the strings.

Paradoxically, Mahler's first symphony, with its spectacular orchestration is easy to bring off and here the orchestra performed excellently. The magical opening of the first movement, with its quiet fanfares and evocation of bird calls was superbly done, there is excellent playing throughout from wind and brass and Philip Shaw engineered an excellent climax to the last movement. The SYO is a splendid institution: long may it remain so.

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Frank Cliff

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