Cologne New Philharmonic Chamber Orch.

MICHAEL DRAKE St Nicholas Church, Yarmouth

MICHAEL DRAKE

Very much in the spirit of entente cordiale, members of the orchestra were visiting the town on Monday for the third time as part of a tour of Britain.

The septet of soloists from the full symphony orchestra always have in mind listeners hearing works for the first time and thus their programming is of both popular classics and stylistically individual.

Vivaldi's Four Seasons certainly comes into that category and the excerpt – Summer, of course – making due allowance for the spacious acoustic, was in fact a rather remote season but nevertheless as clear as the evening sky.

Mozart at his brightest came in his Divertimento in D major, as the orchestra revelled in the

musical happiness, including an almost breathless finale.

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The centrepiece, in the same key, was perhaps Bach's concerto for violin, oboe and orchestra, which had impeccable balance between the solo instruments and the strings and this was followed by the seven strings playing Pachelbel's Canon, managing to retain interest until the last bar.

And while (their own) Variations on God Save the Queen was not the best memory of this otherwise fine ensemble, Albinoni's Adagio will linger longer.

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