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Ensemble

An Exhilarating Performance

Tim Lowe plays Haydn,
reviewed by MIKE WHEELER

 

Derby Concert Orchestra designed their latest concert (Darwin Suite, Assembly Rooms, Derby, UK, 11 October 2008) as a showcase/prize for the winner of Derby Arts Festival's Centenary soloists' competition. Tim Lowe won the Jacqueline du Pré Scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, from which he has recently graduated. A former principal cellist of the National Youth Orchestra, he has also played in the English Chamber and London Symphony Orchestras.

A pity he chose the less interesting of Haydn's two cello concertos, the one in D. Nevertheless, he gave a fine account of the solo part; his tone was rich but clear and his intonation faultless, particularly in double stopped passages, and he had a good command of line and phrasing, especially in the second movement. Even with a reduced DCO, this was still a performance in big-band style, which needed more lightness and buoyancy, on the whole.

The evening opened with an account of Brahms' Tragic Overture that was solid and stoic rather than fiery and passionate.

Dvorák's 6th Symphony, after the interval, was on a different level altogether. In the first movement we were swept along by the sheer vitality of the playing, the second managed a leisurely feel without being unduly slow, while the dance rhythms in the third movement were beautifully springy. Brass occasionally swamped the rest of the orchestra, but overall this was an exhilarating performance.

Copyright © 25 October 2008 Mike Wheeler, Derby UK

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