<< -- 2 -- Keith Bramich SITTING PRETTY?
This afternoon concert began with the March: A History of the English
Speaking Peoples (1959) by Sir William Walton (1902-1983) -- a work in
which, in my opinion, the Bournemouth players were at their best. Churchill's
book with the same title gave its name to a TV series for which Walton wrote
this patriotic march. In a sense, it's an expanded Pomp and Circumstance
March, with a glorious noble tune that has similarities to the fourth of
Elgar's spirited marches.
Lucas works regularly with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and the
team coped well, although obviously under-rehearsed, in the concert's new
piece -- the first public performance of the rhapsodic Violin Concerto (completed
in 1989) by Lionel Sainsbury (born 1958). The star of the show was violinist
Lorraine McAslan, making a superbly full sound with clear and accurate high
notes and a technique to die for. Why don't we hear more from this amazingly
gifted player? Sadly, I have to report that the performance, despite some
very tender moments, didn't live up to the work's sparkling studio première
[listen]. If the BBC ever re-broadcasts that
recording, it's well worth a listen.
Left to right: Duncan Riddell, Lorraine McAslan, Lionel Sainsbury, Adrian Lucas and members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, at the first public performance of Sainsbury's Violin Concerto. Photo: Keith Bramich
The concert ended disappointingly with the Brahms-influenced Irish
Symphony (completed in 1887) by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924).
To be frank, this is a rather dreary piece -- the first movement especially
As one of Worcester's less notable sons, I'm proud of the long and spectacular
history of my local music festival (records date back to about 1723), although
on the basis of this concert, colleagues' reports of other 2002 events and
Philip Lancaster's account of the Gloucester Festival in 2001, I have to
say look out, Three Choirs! You may be the oldest music festival in England,
and you sit pretty in terms of audience levels and funding -- long may this
continue -- but, with such vibrant competition from other local festivals
such as Cheltenham and Presteigne, please don't let your well-stocked larder
lead to complacency.
Copyright © 30 August 2002
Keith Bramich, London, UK
LIONEL SAINSBURY TALKS TO KEITH BRAMICH
PHILIP LANCASTER AT THE 2001 THREE CHOIRS FESTIVAL
THE THREE CHOIRS FESTIVAL WEBSITE
THE BOURNEMOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA