Norwich Philharmonic Chorus & Orchestra

MICHAEL DRAKE St Andrew's Hall, Norwich


> St Andrew's Hall, Norwich

Undoubtedly the orchestra started Saturday evening's concert with a bang in Hindemith's Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria from von Weber and followed it with a jazzy Scherzo. Solo flute was beautifully woven into orchestral backing with impressive brass fanfares.

Lively performance continued in the first section of Khachaturian's Spartacus Suite, lush strings followed in the (Onedin Line) love duet as throughout these two opening works the Orchestra (leader Ben Lowe and conducted by Andrew Fardell) changed musical character with ease.

Norfolk-based composer Andrew Lowe Watson's 1805 Overture was given its premiere and was fully evocative of the naval conflict. Finely crafted and well interpreted, it built to a timpani Fusillade in the Battle - perhaps the Hearts of Oak theme was a little overused but it made a telling climax.

Donna Nobis Pachem set to Walt Whitman's telling poetry by Vaughan Williams showed the chorus (conducted by David Dunnett) to be well defined and reasonably balanced, although too often overcome by the orchestra. Soprano Harriet Fraser sang with clarity and Jozik Koc projected well his warm baritone with the final unaccompanied stanzas being thought provoking - again under first-class orchestral work. But it was another Saturday concert sparsely attended.

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