Norfolk Symphony Orchestra, King's Lynn

Foregoing their usual symphonic format, the NSO gave a Prom Concert for their summer presentation at King's Lynn Corn Exchange.

By DAVID JOHNSON

Foregoing their usual symphonic format, the NSO gave a Prom Concert for their summer presentation at King's Lynn Corn Exchange.

From its opening bars whispered by lower strings, the first item – Stravinsky's Firebird Suite – was propelled by a sense of urgency through the sensuous rondo to the finale which reveals Stravinsky's Russian origin, as conductor James Stobart drew playing of a high order.

The soloist in James Galway's arrangement of Briccialdi's Carnival of Venice was a local flautist, 17-year-old Alex Jakeman. This young lady has excellent breath control and technical command of the instrument but perhaps has yet to reach the maturity to fully cope with this piece. She was well supported by James Stobart and the orchestra but I would like to hear her play this again in a few years' time.


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The players returned for the second half dressed in varying degrees of foliage (representing the forest) in Paul Patterson's setting of Roald Dahl's re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. They were joined by the Fiona Marshall Singers.

Storyteller Nick Mercer gave a hilarious account of events in the forest.

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We arrived at traditional prom favourites Henry Wood's Sea Songs (the orchestra beating the hand-clapping audience in the hornpipe by a short head).

Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance No 1 concluded the programme with the flag-waving audience joining in the “Land of Hope and Glory” section.

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