Chandos Reviews

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The newly formed Chandos Sinfonia, an orchestra of Mozartian size composed mainly of local professional, talented amateur and student players led by Bella Holt and conducted by Peter Stark, a young member of the Welsh Philharmonia, gave its first performance in the York Hall of the Girls' College on Sunday evening.

It was an occasion of sheer delight. The programme, Dvorak's Serenade for wind instruments, 'cello and bass, Mozart's Piano Concerto in D minor and Schubert's Symphony No 5 called for deftness, precision and a light touch, and the players gave us these qualities in full measure.

This was a highly accomplished and elegant performance for which much of the credit must go to the very professional and unmannered control of the conductor, who evidently knew clearly the sound he wished to produce and was able to draw it from the players in a relaxed and happy manner.

The Dvorak Serenade is a work not commonly played, but proved to be a tuneful and immediately appealing piece with some Czech flavour for eleven players which provided an unusual but entirely enjoyable opening to the concert. The solo part in the Mozart Concerto was played confidently and lyrically by John Sabey who is to be commended for the two ingenious, if at times slightly Beethoven cadenzas which he wrote for the work. The Schubert Symphony was charm throughout.

The Chandos Sinfonia plans to meet twice yearly for a series of rehearsals concentrated within a short period and concluding with a public concert. ... Let us hope that the Sinfonia will continue to meet and give concerts as attractive and accomplished as its first performance: it will clearly be as much a pleasure to play with the orchestra as a joy to listen to them.