Sunday, May 31, 2009


Alasdair Malloy with Sinfonia Viva

Civic Theatre


Maybe it lacked the pulling power of movie tie-ins like Harry Potter and the Pirates of the Caribbean, but this year's concert for children was packed with exotic sounds and far-flung fun and games. We even sang along with Summer Holiday !

Percussionist extraordinaire Alasdair Malloy, kilted for the first half, chatted and charmed his way into the hearts of the audience. The music began with Bizet's Farandole, done as a concerto for tabor, and ended with Offenbach's Galop; young fans invading the stage to dance along. We did the Macarena for Mozart, the hand jive for Handel.

Among the lesser known pieces in the dress-down second half were a charming Chinese folk song arrangement, featuring scene-setting solos from flute and harp, then a beautiful bassoon melody, and Adrian Johnson's evocative Outback Daybreak, with dijeridu introduction and jew's harp kangaroos.

There were visits to that increasingly attractive destination, the past: the Harry Lime theme played as in a Viennese Konditorei, with a lovely viola solo, and Puffin' Billy, used two generations ago to introduce very different Children's Favourites.

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