Sunday, November 20, 2011


Christ Church, Chelmsford

These You Have Loved selections this time, all with a story to tell.
Presumably why it was thought a good idea to have a narrator giving us generous helpings of Goethe and the Kalevala, not to mention the French verses that inspired Saint-Saens' Danse Macabre.

The evening began with the enchanting anticipation of Mozart's Magic Flute Overture, with its heroic brass and excitable strings. Then Sibelius's Pohjola's Daughter, colourfully scored, with a nicely judged diminuendo ending from the ESO's conductor Tom Hammond.

Then our first Fantasia favourite Mussorgsky's riotous Night on a Bare Mountain, moving effectively from scream to serenity as the cock crows. The evening ended with The Sorcerer's Apprentice; a triumph for the orchestra, this only in live performance can we appreciate how the cheeky theme is passed around the players, starting with the bassoons, and all sprinkled with the magic dust of the glockenspiel.

A moment of calm reflection among the magic and the mayhem was Gluck's Dance of the Blessed Spirits, ethereal music with beautiful flute solos.

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