Youth orchestra's high standard
Suffolk Youth Orchestra. Snape Proms, Snape Maltings. August 3. Fresh fom their successful tour of eastern Germany, the Suffolk Youth Orchestra were on fine form for their annual visit to the Snape Proms.
Suffolk Youth Orchestra. Snape Proms, Snape Maltings. August 3.
Fresh from their successful tour of eastern Germany, the Suffolk Youth Orchestra were on fine form for their annual visit to the Snape Proms. By its nature, the personnel of the orchestra changes considerably each year, but the standard of performance is consistently high.
Conductor Philip Shaw steered them through a lively performance of Borodin's overture to the opera, Prince Igor, their talents displayed to great advantage in this great showpiece for orchestra, and notable for fine solos from principal horn and clarinet: in fact, the quality of the wind playing throughout the evening was quite exceptional.
Maybe Philip Shaw had the German audience in mind when programming two fairly obscure pieces of English music: Delius' Summer Evening and Vaughan Williams' In the Fen Country. Neither work could be described as mainstream repertoire; the Delius, part of a larger early work first rescued from oblivion by Sir Thomas Beecham, the Vaughan Williams now rarely performed.
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Unfashionable they may be, but both contain lovely music which requires really accomplished playing if they are to sound convincing. That the SYO achieved this does them great credit. The Vaughan Williams in particular had just the right atmosphere, with, once again, really sensitive wind playing, and the lovely viola solo in the closing bars was beautifully played.
After this somewhat esoteric interlude, Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony provided just the right finale; an exciting performance, with sumptuous sounds from the SYO. Shaw's interpretation may not always have obeyed Tchaikovsky's markings, with a few rubati of his own, but the overall effect was splendid, and it had the desired effect.
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