This is a report after the event, I’m afraid, not a notification that you should come to this. So I’m sorry if you missed it because this was a concert to remember.
We started with Wagner’s Tannhauser Overture. How on earth did that man expect people to be able to play chromatic scales but with a tone stuck in somewhere for good measure just when you thought you had cracked it! And not once but over and over again. This has to be the most physically tiring piece for the left hand I have ever played.
Then we performed Shostakovich 2nd Cello concerto with the amazing, amusing, absolutely stunning David Cohen as our soloist. I have to admit I didn’t know this work at all and wasn’t too taken with the first movement when we first rehearsed it. It’s very dark and brooding. But this is followed by two movement full of fireworks, arguments with the orchestra, and virtuoso “special effects” from the solo cello.
David and his 1735 Montagnana cello, stayed with Stephen and I on the night before the concert – the perfect and most entertaining house guest. We took him to visit Elgar’s grave before the final rehearsal.
To finish, we played Rachmaninov Symphony no 1 – the second most tiring piece for the left hand I have ever played! My little finger went into cramp at one point every time we played it. The cello section had lots to do – Rachmaninov certainly gave us plenty of beautiful tunes in this work.
Our regular conductor wasn’t able to be with us for this concert, so a new face was weilding the baton; Alice Farnham. She was a very nice lady but I wouldn’t want to be without our Michael Lloyd longterm.
Our next concert is on March 14th – Elgar Violin Concerto (with Kathryn Rutland, who used to lead Chandos, as soloist) and Brahms 1st Symphony.