Britten-Pears Orchestra, Chamber Choir

TONY COOPER Aldeburgh Festival - Snape Maltings.


Paul Daniel, artistic director of English National Opera, stepped on to the platform to conduct this fine young orchestra (of which he is chief conductor) in Songs of the Night, the final concert in this year's Aldeburgh Festival.

The opening work was by Argentinian composer Mauricio Kagel, a featured composer in this year's festival. Tantz-Schul (Dance School) was a UK premiere and based on a series of Venetian baroque dances. It was a tremendous piece of writing for full orchestra with wild rhythmic patterns for percussion giving way to calmer forces with bass strings and trumpet and played with relish and commitment.

One of the highlights was Karol Szymanowski's Symphony no 3 in which the Chamber Choir was augmented by the Fairhaven Singers of Cambridge. It was a work of contrast with vast orchestral sounds and big crescendos with the soloist, Peter Wedd (tenor), rising high above the orchestral writing.