3 November 2013 - Cadogan Hall, London
- Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue with soloist Tom Poster
- Mahler: Symphony No. 1
- Debussy: 'Nuages and Fetes` from Trois Nocturnes
Following the highly successful concert in October 2012, the English Schools’ Orchestra returned to the Cadogan Hall in London on Sunday 3rd November 2013 for their annual concert.
This year was the most ambitious yet with 100 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 30th October, to begin rehearsals on repertoire including Mahler’s epic First Symphony.
The first play-through of this major work revealed the steep learning curve required but the issue of parts in advance of the course meant that the young players had given themselves a head start. The expert tuition of the well-established team of experienced professional section tutors ensured that 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. It was very exciting to work with Tom Poster, the ‘Tigger’–like young virtuoso pianist who never stopped smiling throughout the rehearsals and concert.
This enthusiasm was immediately inspiring to the ESO members and they loved every minute of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, leading to an exhilarating and joyful performance on concert day which received a rapturous reception from the Cadogan Hall audience (our largest to date at this venue).
The concert opened with two of Debussy’s evocative Nocturnes, Nuages and Fetes. The music is challenging stylistically as much as anything else but it was delivered with assurance and an atmosphere which captured the genre brilliantly.
All present in Cadogan Hall fully appreciated the excellent performances of all the pieces in this challenging programme. On the evidence of this 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.