04 November 2012 - Cadogan Hall
- Ernest Moeran: Cello Concerto with soloist Guy Johnston
- Vaughan Williams: A London Symphony
- Walton: Orb and Sceptre
Click here for a review of the concert on www.classicalsource.com.
Following the highly successful concert in October 2011, the English Schools’ Orchestra returned to the Cadogan Hall in London on Sunday 30th October 2012 for their Annual Concert.
This year something approaching 90 young players from schools all over the country assembled at The Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, Elstree, Hertfordshire for the orchestral course that began on Wednesday 26th October, to begin rehearsals on a challenging but very popular programme. The first play-through of the major work in this year’s programme, the London Symphony by Vaughan Williams, caused a few first-timers’ jaws to drop somewhat, as they were confronted by some testing passages, but soon composure was restored and in time, under the expert tuition of the well-established team of experienced professional section tutors, everything began to take shape, with apprehension quickly giving way to increasing confidence as notes fell more easily into place. As the week progressed the full programme was tackled with more and more assurance and the technical difficulties eventually began to be of little consequence.
The most challenging aspect of the course was learning the rarely performed Moeran cello concerto with the young virtuoso cellist Guy Johnston. The Orchestra was so fortunate to have so much time available with Guy to develop a musical understanding. Guy’s empathy with the young players was immediate and in the concert the level of rapport achieved brought about a truly memorable performance.
The concert opened with Walton’s Coronation March Orb and Sceptre. This provided particular challenges for the brass section with the rapid interplay of fanfares and triumphant themes. Once again these were soon taking shape alongside the beautiful sweeping melodies played by the rest of the orchestra.
All present in Cadogan Hall fully appreciated the excellent performances of all the pieces in this challenging programme, and next year’s Annual Concert, also in Cadogan Hall, is already being looked forward to with great anticipation, especially as many younger players in the orchestra can look forward to several more years of membership and exciting music making. On the evidence of the 2012 Concert, the English Schools’ Orchestra, year by year, goes from strength to strength, and their courses and concerts are fast becoming events not to be missed by young instrumentalists and concert-goers alike.