Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Essex Concert Orchestra at Chelmsford County High School


The excellent Essex Concert Orchestra took us to the pictures this time, with an upbeat selection of Music from the Movies.

We got off to a cracking, not to say bone-crunching, start with Zimmer's Gladiator; the second half began with his equally stirring Dead Man's Chest, with great work from the three trombones and cellist Tim Handel.

John Williams was the most played composer, with Indiana Jones, Harry Potter – a lovely cartoonish, jazzy ride on the Night Bus – and the heart-rending theme from Schindler's List, sensitively played by the orchestra's leader, Jeanine Thorpe.

Brass to the fore again for Ron Goodwin, the complex Where Eagles Dare, with its precise percussion, and the pastiche Luftwaffe march – Aces High – from Battle of Britain, which won the audience vote for a well-deserved encore.

The only composer with a well-known corpus of work outside the cinema was Malcolm Arnold, whose well-known arrangement of Colonel Bogey had us whistling into the interval.

The orchestra, conducted by consummate showman Malcolm Hiscock, will be back in late April with a St George's Day concert including Holst, Vaughan Williams, and a few patriotic crowd-pleasers. Worth keeping an ear open for.

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