UEA Symphony Orchestra, Gorleston

KEITH CUTLER St Andrew's Festival ended with a return of the orchestra (leader Michiko Naygami) conducted by Sharon Choa.

KEITH CUTLER

St Andrew's Festival ended on Saturday at Lynn Grove High School with a return of the UEA Symphony Orchestra (leader Michiko Naygami) conducted by Sharon Choa.

In Beethoven's Egmont Overture of 1810, the sombre opening leading to an heroic finale created an atmosphere that persisted for much of the concert.

Laura Cordiner, who holds the Imogen Holst scholarship and is still attending the UEA, was the impressive soloist in Weber's Bassoon Concerto, composed a year after Egmont. The concerto covers the range of the instrument, but in the elegiac slow movement soloist and orchestra were most expressive.

The atmosphere lightened for the often humorous orchestration of Malcolm Arnold's Four Scottish Dances, included to celebrate the composer's 80th birthday. The orchestra revelled in this rumbustious piece, though the tension eased for the contrasted third dance with its harp cadenzas.

The programme ended with Sibelius' First Symphony, clearly influenced by his earlier tone poems and legends of the Finnish forests.

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t The concert was a dress rehearsal for a Norwich performance on November 14, which Sir Malcolm Arnold will attend.