News and Reviews
SATURDAY 30TH NOVEMBER 2019
Emmanuel Parish Church
Edvard Grieg In Autumn Overture Op.11
Jean Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor Op. 47
Antonín Dvořák Symphony No. 7 in D minor Op. 70
The coldest night of the winter so far did nothing to deter a near capacity audience gathering to hear Southport Orchestra’s final concert for 2019. Enhanced by the excellent acoustics of Emmanuel Church in Cambridge Road the 66-strong orchestra was again conducted by Jeff Rimmer, the orchestra’s resident conductor for the past ten years. The guest soloist for the night was Ben Cartlidge.
The concert commenced with Edvard Grieg’s “In Autumn” Op. 11, written when he was just 23 years of age and featuring a series of Norwegian folk songs and dances, many associated with harvest time. This was followed by the violin concerto Op. 47, written by Jean Sibelius in 1904. This complex and demanding concerto was performed by Ben Cartlidge who had the audience, and most of the orchestra, on the edge of their seats throughout an amazing performance, ending with a well-deserved standing ovation! After the interval the orchestra performed the major piece of the evening, the Symphony No. 7 Op. 70. Composed by Antonin Dvořák in 1885 for the London Philharmonic Society this is written in four movements and served to round off an excellent evening of classical music performed to the highest of standards.
The Southport Orchestra is already turning their attention to the 2020 season with the first concert scheduled to take place at St. John’s Church, Birkdale, on Saturday, 28th March. This concert will feature music by Rachmaninov, Glinka and Mozart. Tickets will be on sale in the New Year.
Some Quotes from Visitors-
“I have never been to a classical concert and when I was invited to see Southport Orchestra I was curious. All I can say is wow! I have been transformed. The violin soloist was so talented! His playing, passion and obvious love of the concerto he was playing was infectious. It was easy to see how accomplished he was but the way he played actually moved me to tears. The way the orchestra responded to him musically was outstanding from the quietest of sounds, where I could see no one moving but the sound was there, to the heart stopping loudest of sounds. I will definitely keep an eye out for concerts in the future after seeing this orchestra perform!”
“I will definitely keep an eye out for concerts in the future after seeing this orchestra perform!”
“ I’m absolutely amazed at the standard of playing [of Southport Orchestra]”
Fab to hear these two inspirational people in conversation. ….. and Ben’s amazing playing.
“The performance was fabulous – my wife and I really enjoyed our afternoon.
The warmth and pleasure , the sheer joy was so good. You must feel extremely proud to be associated with such musical talent .
A big thank you to all concerned.”
“We arrived at the Floral Hall in good time for the concert and what followed was a collection of musical pieces that were absolutely first class. It would be difficult to pick out any favourite pieces as we enjoyed them all. Our sincere thanks to all members of the orchestra and their support workers for putting on this excellent event.
Neither I nor my wife is able to play any musical instruments (or sing in front of an audience!). However, we do like listening to top quality musical pieces and that’s exactly what you collectively delivered. Well done.”
“What another beautiful performance and diverse repertoire from Southport Orchestra. A tremendous collection of mixed emotions were felt. How fitting for Chris to bring a tear to many eyes with his rendition of ‘Bring him home’ on the day the cricket World Cup was brought home. And Jeff is still not out after 10 years. Keep batoning on Jeff! A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. I can’t wait for the next.”
Triumph at St. John’s
SATURDAY 30th MARCH 2019
ST JOHN’S CHURCH BIRKDALE
Berlioz – Roman Carnival Overture
Beethoven – Piano Concerto No.5 (Emperor) in Eb major Op.73
Soloist: Tom Kimmance
Borodin – Symphony No.2 in B minor
In March Southport Orchestra began their 2019 season of concerts with a performance at St John’s Church in Birkdale, Southport. As in previous years a large audience was in attendance and they were first treated to a rousing performance of the Roman Carnival Overture Op. 9 by Hector Berlioz. Whilst relatively short this overture is nonetheless challenging to play yet the orchestra made it a fabulous start to the evening.
This created the cue for the evening’s guest soloist to take the stand in the form of the outstanding pianist Tom Kimmance. In fact Tom is a great friend of the orchestra having featured in many of their performances over recent years. The orchestra accompanied him in Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 ‘Emperor’ in Eb major Op. 73. From the minute the orchestra hit the first Eb chord and Tom started his flourishing arpeggio the whole audience knew this was going to be good and the resultant standing ovation at the conclusion was well deserved!
After the interval the orchestra re-formed to present Alexander Borodin’s Symphony No. 2 in B minor. Set in four movements this is without doubt a hard symphony, most particularly for an amateur orchestra. It is full of solo and soli passages, time changes, mood changes, sections of light and shade, not to mention tricky notes and key signatures. Despite this the orchestra rose to the challenge producing what can only be described as an amazing performance.
Rehearsals are already under way in preparation for the orchestra’s summer concert to be held at the Floral Hall, Southport Promenade, on Sunday 14th July. Entitled “Proms on the Prom” this event will commence at 2-30 pm and is aimed primarily at a family audience. Guest soloist will be vocalist Louise Dickenson and the concert will once again feature the Woodlands School Choir from Formby. The afternoon will include classics such as Carmen, Skyfall, Finlandia, Bring Him Home and Pomp and Circumstance No.1. Tickets will be on sale nearer the date.
“Thanks for a great Southport Orchestra concert last night.”
At the end “I just had to stand up and applaud.”
“The Southport Orchestra’s excellent interpretation of the 3 B’s really was the bees knees, under the direction of Jeff Rimmer plus the talents of Tom Kimmance. A thoroughly enjoyable evening.”
“Southport Orchestra were just brilliant under the superbly talented conductor Jeff Rimmer. What a fantastic performance by solo pianist Tom Kimmance also !”
“We very much enjoyed the concert. The Beethoven was especially thrilling. Congratulations.”