…….in the middle of the first half was an absolutely gorgeous gem with ‘A Prayer at Eventide’ (King, arr. Haydn Wood): a beautiful cantabile melody to touch the soul. Then, before the interval, we enjoyed Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s set of concert pieces ‘Three Dream Dances’. They are such exquisite, tuneful miniatures, beautifully orchestrated, lilting and romantic in style. What a treasured first half!…….
…….Howard Rogerson had the far from easy role in this ambitious concert of keeping everybody together and achieving the right balance in terms of sound between singers and orchestra. This he achieved well for the most part and the audience responded warmly to the rare feast of music on offer, including participating in the community singing at the end.…….
…..the orchestra displayed once again its distinctive mix of disciplined, enthusiastic and lyrical music making with some beautiful sectional and solo playing…
Some people think that ‘light music’ is easy, whereas it is in fact extremely complex; there can be no passengers – any member of the orchestra may suddenly be in the spotlight. The Promenade Concert Orchestra have proved once again that they can rise to any challenge, and under Howard’s assured direction they gave us a delightful afternoon’s entertainment.
After the ever popular curtain raiser, the ‘Poet and Peasant’ overture by Franz von Suppé, which featured a beautifully played ’cello solo by Bob Buller, the first half was dominated by the music of Johann Strauss the Younger and Franz Lehar………Lehar’s magical lyricism was fully brought to life by Raphaela Papadakis in her fine rendition of three operatic arias including the famous ‘Vilja’ from ‘The Merry Widow’…………As she introduced each item she established a warm rapport with the audience, who greatly appreciated her clear soprano voice and vivid characterisations.
The orchestra was led by Julian Cann who, along with all the section principals, had opportunities to shine during the course of the concert. As always the orchestra under the watchful gaze of conductor Howard Rogerson played with great clarity, skill and enthusiasm, even essaying a rendition of Happy Birthday in an unusual key!
The orchestra, led by Julian Cann, displayed both lyricism and enthusiasm and all sections fully played their part in fulfilling the requirements of the attractive scoring.
Howard Rogerson has long been a keen advocate of ensuring that the light music of charm and quality once regularly played live all over the country is not only preserved for posterity but is also given ample opportunity to be played for the enjoyment of present-day audiences.
As always is the case at these concerts a friendly ambience pervades the venue and the audience went home well satisfied with the high quality music making and looking forward to the PCO’s next performance.
…we were treated to what I have hoped for since the orchestra’s debut, a solo from lead violinist Julian Cann, whose performance of Massenet’s ‘Meditation’ would have graced the Classic FM chart….
Lancaster Guardian, April 2009 READ MORE