Chandos Reviews

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The impressively high standard of performance, achieved over the years by what appears to be an increasingly rigorous standard of entry, has always attracted plentiful and enthusiastic audiences to the Chandos Symphony Orchestra's concerts over the last few years.

And in spite of the relatively cramped conditions of the Chase School Hall last Sunday, their programme of Wagner, Beethoven and Brahms was received by a capacity house

Wagner's Tannhauser Overture was a colourful start, with well-balanced woodwind playing, although maybe the Venusberg music needed a bit more sparkle and sensuous abandon?

This was followed by Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto in C minor, played by one of the more promising young pianists we have seen in these concerts for some time.

Philip Moore — a finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition 1994 gave what I thought to be a performance of understanding and considerable depth, the tempi firmly controlled with the minimum of rubato. Excellent Beethoven playing!

Brahms' great E Minor Symphony received a suitably broad and majestic interpreta- tion under Michael Lloyd's direction. The Allegro con brio was perhaps a little lacking in delicacy at times in the accompanying figuration, but the gorgeously coloured slow movement was a delight, the Scherzo had all the required vitality, and the excitement of the closing Passacaglia was clearly felt by the musicians (sensitive flute playing in the 13th variation). Certainly an acceptable tribute in the Brahms centenary year. The orchestra was led by Donna Welchman who is sadly to leave the orchestra and whose final appearances tonight was marked by a substantial floral tribute.

Robert South.