English Chamber Orchestra Ensemble

ALISON CROOSE Burnham Westgate Church

ALISON CROOSE

Burnham Westgate Church

The 33rd season of Burnham Market Concerts got off to a flying start with a display of the finest musicianship by an ensemble at the top of its league.

The intimacy of the church - which was packed - was the ideal setting in which to appreciate, with ear and eye, the virtuosity of the players as individuals, and their cohesion as an ensemble.

With ECO leader Stephanie Gonley - the youngest person to hold the position - at the helm, this was a prestigious occasion involving the performance of two great works.

The concert opened with the Serenade for String Trio by Erno Dohnany, containing strong hints of the folk music of his native Hungary.

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Then the beautiful blending of strings with clarinet filled the church for Mozart's quintet in A major, featuring the ECO's principal clarinet, Anthony Pike.

The magical combination of sounds included wonderful tonal quality from the basset clarinet.

The concert ended with Schubert's sublime Quintet in C Major.

The work embraces vigour, emotion and romance, and the ensemble - Stephanie Gonley and Annabelle Meare (violins), Judith Busbridge (viola), Tim Gill and William Schofield (cellos) -exploited all its moods to great effect.

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