Chandos Reviews

We try and keep a list of reviews of our concerts. We rely on people sending us the review so if you have one that is not listed here please contact us. All the reviews are copyright the original listed publication. To see the concert that the review refered to, click on the date.


This orchestra seems to get better at every concert! Certainly the opening piece in its "Family" programme in the Priory Church on Saturday was quite an impressive performance from purely amateur players. Perhaps the arrival of Michael Lloyd as their regular conductor has something to do with it; he has had wide-ranging professional experience as an opera conductor in London and is lively and enthusiastic with plenty of drive.

Be that as it may — the opening bars of Beethoven's "Leonora" Overture No 3 were finely played, the nuances being sensitive and musical. The solo trumpeter also was impeccable; the opening of the coda, however, with its rushing quaver runs was by no means impeccable; but then even professional orchestras find this passage tricky, anyway.

Lloyd prefaced every item with explanatory and often humorous remarks about the music, helpful undoubtedly to the many children in the audience.

Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite No 1 produced nice woodwind solos in "Morning Mood"; the strings excelled in the "Death of Ase" with musical and effective shading; "Anitra's Dance" had a pleasantly controlled rhythmic swing, and the "Hall of the Mountain King" had all the required excitement.

Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings sometimes ran into intonation difficulties, but the three Johann Strauss pieces at the end (Blue Danube Waltz; Tritsch-Tratsch Polka; and the Thunder and Lightning Polka) were played with panache! The children in the audience were invited to contribute their quota of "thunder and lightning" on tambourines, etc, by way of an encore.

Robert South.