EU Champion Orchestra, Burnham Thorpe

The fact that the name and the European Union Champion Orchestra is not exactly an ad-man's dream detracts not a euro from the worth of this ensemble which, on Saturday evening, brought the enterprising Burnham Market Concerts series to a close at Burnham Thorpe Church.

By MICHAEL DRAKE

The fact that the name and the European Union Champion Orchestra is not exactly an ad-man's dream detracts not a euro from the worth of this ensemble which, on Saturday evening, brought the enterprising Burnham Market Concerts series to a close at Burnham Thorpe Church.

Were they in fact going to be too strong, I wondered in the opening of Vivaldi's Flute Concerto, La Tempesta di Mare, as soloist William Bennett seemed to be overwhelmed by orchestral surges.

But he then skated through the finale like flicking stones over the waves, followed with a brilliant virtuoso performance of the same composer's Piccolo Concerto in C.

Current programmer's favourites, Bach's Concerto in D minor for two violins, brought a very heavily accented and staccato reading, with EUCO Director Gernot Sussmuth and Virpi Raisanen as soloists drawing the emotion from each other.

But it was the full string version of Grieg's Quartet Op 27 which brought out the “bravos” in a full-bodied, moody and colourful opening Andante while the second movement concluded with a short, but quite delightful violin, cello and bass trio.

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This orchestra is so good at musical accents and certainly made its mark.

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