Norwich Pops Orchestra

CHRISTOPHER SMITH St Andrew's Hall, Norwich


St Andrew's Hall, Norwich

This orchestra, symphonic in size and power, cheered a dull Sunday afternoon. It's concert was full of melody and enriched with memories of a dozen films whose impact has been all the greater because of the musical backing to the pictures.

Geoff Davidson conducted with a lively sense of rhythm and a full awareness of dramatic values as he repeatedly worked emotions up to a grand climax.

So the Ride of the Valkyries, which underpinned Apocalypse Now, thundered out its Wagnerian splendour, and Finlandia, reused in Die Hard 2, had all Sibelius' patriotism. Tension was built up in Richard Rodney Bennett's Waltz for Murder On The Orient Express, and another waltz, from Eyes Wide Shut, was a timely reminder of Shostakovich's work in the cinema.

The Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society Chorus made its contribution with full-throated responses to selections from The Sound Of Music and West Side Story. Chris Hilton serenaded Maria passionately, and the instrumentalists thoroughly enjoyed catching the right accent in Bernstein's intricate patterns.