English Chamber Orchestra

MICHAEL DRAKE St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds

MICHAEL DRAKE

St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds

Surprisingly this was the first visit of the ECO to the town and the large audience will surely hope for more after last evening's concert of music ranging from the 17th to the 21st centuries.

There was a very bright start with Bach's strings- only Brandenburg Concerto No 3 given a splendid anchor by the trio of cellos which continued into the Allegro to accentuate the rhythmic drive. Not programmed regularly, Boccherini's Cello Concerto in B flat was a delight with soloist Caroline Dale. Back to Bach and with director Stephanie Gonley and John Anderson as soloists, musical conversation continued and the Concerto for Oboe, Violin and Orchestra was notable for extraordinarily extended phrasing.

Conducted by the composer David Heath, Sirocco for Oboe, Violin and Orchestra with the same soloists had a definite North African air. Descriptive music of high calibre. A Bartok Diverti-mento for strings completed a first-class evening - ECO are worth hearing anywhere.

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