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Review: CPO - Dvorak's New World Symphony @ Saint David's Hall

Posted by Weeping Tudor from Cardiff - Published on 27/11/2015 at 02:47
0 comments » - Tagged as History, Music, Travel

Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra
Saint David's Hall
Friday 16th October 2015

*Please note* There will be no accents in this review, due to the unexpected and temperamental handling of them in the the website system.

Cardiff should be proud of its amateur orchestra. This land of song is blessed with many musical milestones and CPO are testament to these achievements.

The William Tell overture is a famous as they come. With a sublime cello solo at the opening and lovely woodwind melodies, it's hard not to fall in love all over again with this piece. The famous brass fanfare also delights and brings Cheshire cat grins to many a face.

Karl Jenkins is one of Wales' most famous composers. Through his popularity comes a creative mind of pleasing compositions that easily move you and rouse the senses. Like Satie, he also has a wicked wit that is evident in his work. His Euphonium Concerto is full of chattering percussion, a sultry tango (he loves tangos!) and an unbridled, barn storming energy you don't hear anywhere else today. Marvellously handled by master player David Childs, you simply couldn't hear anyone else play the piece that was written for him.

Our symphony for the evening was "From the new world". This famous last 9th by Czech composer Antonin Dvorak, is his highly romantic take on American music and it's variety of songs and scores. With great homesickness (he was teaching in New York at the time of composing) he painted a colourful landscape of the American sound world. His utilising of Native American and African American material makes his symphony sound as state side as the wild west, served with a slice of vanilla cheesecake.

The familiar Largo tune for cor anglais is one of several highlights. Conductor Michael Bell, handed cor anglais player Candice Dempster a loaf of bread, at the end in a homage to the Hovis advert which transformed the Largo into a brass band version. [link to advert] This was cringe worthy but not without good, humorous intent. Her tackling of the nocturne like melody was very well received by the audience.

There may have been a few mishaps here and there with the playing, but CPO are usually on top form and I'm thrilled to pick an overture that they could play for their concert in May next year!

Rating: 4 stars

Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra continue their season with A Night at the Movies on 4th December 2016. Their Vote Overture! concert on 18th March 2016 gives the audience the vote for their favourite overture for a chance to be heard on the night. Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony end their season on 25th June 2016.

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