Connect with us


Russian and English voices from two centuries beguile and collide in Todmorden – Seen and Heard Worldwide




United KingdomUnited Kingdom Numerous: Michaela Jones (viola), Todmorden Orchestra / Connor Lyster (conductor). Todmorden City Corridor, Calderdale, 23.3.2024. (RBa)

Todmorden Orchestra

ShostakovichFestive Overture
Walton – Viola Concerto
Vaughan WilliamsFantasia on Greensleeves
Tchaikovsky – Symphony No.4

Nick Concannon Hodges was struck down with extreme pneumonia, so Connor Lyster took the rostrum for the orchestra’s Music for Spring live performance. Lyster is an expert percussionist, learning for his Masters in conducting at Royal Northern School of Music. He’s a rising title amongst the northern neighborhood orchestras.

The programme, performed to the standard capability viewers, blended soothing pastoralism, livid celebration and romantic fury. We opened with Shostakovich in brash mode …and when he’s brash, there isn’t any mistaking him. The crash and storm of the temporary Festive Overture appeared to be a lot to the orchestra’s style. It additionally gave them a boisterous thunderstorm of a bit to heat up for the remainder of the live performance. Just a few dicey moments in the beginning did nothing to masks the Gamers’ exuberance. The overture’s quieter passages, together with some withering pizzicato, registered amongst the predominant brashness; and allow us to not neglect the upstart flute and clarinet solos. In the direction of the shut, the writing recalled the extra vivid work for the orchestra within the composer’s Second Piano Concerto.

Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on Greensleeves has hyperlinks with the opera Sir John in Love. It has through the years grow to be one thing of a well-liked interlude. It was absolutely a template of kinds for Elizabethan Serenade. The Fantasia, very quick and sweetly charming, harks again to the composer’s predilection for issues Tudor (the Mass in G and the Tudor Portraits). The leisurely unreeling of the nice tune was nicely arrange by harp and flute, and it merited a particular bow for every participant on the finish.

Although Mediterranean in environment, Walton’s Viola Concerto has Northern ‘credentials’. He was an Oldham man. Beecham, who inspired writing a concerto for what was within the Twenties an uncommon solo instrument, was a product of St Helens. The work stands other than the voluptuous irresistibility of the Violin Concerto, and above the much less endearing profile of the Cello Concerto. Violist Michaela Jones introduced its three poetic actions with earnest passion. Lyster achieved a very good stability: the viola spoke out of the milieu of a 65-strong band. Jones had a strikingly transferring interplay within the first motion with the principal French horn. This rating was the hardest technical problem for the orchestra on this live performance and proved essentially the most formidable.

After the intermission, the orchestra and conductor laid into Tchaikovsky’s Fourth with a will, with a flourish and with gales of romantic passion. It’s a fashionable work that calls for these remedies and is a sure-fire viewers pleaser. The sighing endearments of the gradual motion registered nicely and the timpani participant’s regular coronary heart/drum beat gave an unerring basis to the candy endearments of this motion. The outer actions brimmed with adrenalin-drenched ardour which recalled the crash of the Shostakovich overture. There have been memorable episodes in them because the physique of strings projected that death-defying Tchaikovskian ‘throb’. This can be a mark of authenticity, decided preparation and dedication. A lot the identical could be mentioned of the pizzicato motion earlier than the onslaught of the finale.

Rob Barnett