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Ensemble

Rich Gutsy Tone

Kala Ramnath and friends meet Sinfonia Viva,
reviewed by MIKE WHEELER

 

Vivaldi meets Argentinian tango meets Indian ragas -- it's just the sort of happily nonchalant mixture of styles that Sinfonia Viva's annual school residency projects like to throw up. Astor Piazzolla's Four Seasons points the way, with a hint of the baroque at the end of 'Winter'. Directed by Viva's Leader and Artistic Advisor Benedict Holland the work was played with tremendous verve (Assembly Rooms, Derby, UK, 6 March 2007), and with some crafty extra references to Vivaldi's popular work on the same subject thrown in.

Viva was joined by leading Indian violinist Kala Ramnath and three colleagues, violinists Balu Raguraman and Jyotsna Srikanth, and tabla player Sarvar Sabri. The four movements of the Piazzolla were heard alongside newly-composed equivalents by Kala Ramnath (six of them, since, in India, Monsoon and Sharad come between Summer and Autumn), with supporting string parts composed and conducted by David Murphy. The result was a genuine meeting of cultures, not the embarrassing head-to-head that can sometimes arise in these circumstances. Kala Ramnath is a star of the world music scene, and it's easy to hear why -- her rich, gutsy tone was particularly impressive.

The second half presented the results of the education project, in which students from Alvaston Junior and Noel Baker Community Schools, Derby College and Derby University worked on their own 'seasons' pieces with workshop leader Jackie Walduck. What emerged was inventive, vividly atmospheric and performed with obvious enjoyment. As one adult member of the audience said afterwards: 'I wanted to be up there joining in!'

Copyright © 11 March 2007 Mike Wheeler, Derby UK

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ANDRE DE RIDDER AND SINFONIA VIVA

AN ECLECTIC PROGRAMME BY SINFONIA VIVA

BACH, ARNOLD AND HAYDN FROM SINFONIA VIVA

KALA RAMNATH

JYOTSNA SRIKANTH

SINFONIA VIVA

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