Friday, March 12, 2010

King Edward VI School Chelmsford

KEGS Spring Concert effectively showcased the strengths of its music department.
We heard a sizeable choir, directed by Maggie Diffley, in a Handel Coronation anthem, a chamber ensemble in Grieg's Elegiac melodies, including the beautiful Last Spring, a Jamaican Rumba from the juniors. There was even a string quartet giving an impressive performance of the last two movements of Borodin's second quartet, especially effective in the opening of the Nocturne, with the melody weaving back and forth between cello and violin.

But the most memorable performance must be that Everest of the piano repertoire, the Grieg Concerto. Prodigiously talented soloist Sasha Millwood gave a bright, forward interpretation,  though there was a real pensive tenderness in the Adagio, and in the Cadenza in the opening Allegro. I liked the playful prancing in the finale before the thunder rolls back in. He was brilliantly supported by the smallish senior orchestra.

As is the custom these days, he rewarded his audience for their standing ovation with an encore: Lucifer's Banjo, Martin Butler's fiendish study for repeated notes.

And even then, instead of a rest and a rub down, he picked up his fiddle to lead the orchestra in more Borodin, the ever popular Polovtsian Dances, which came to life after a tentative start, and featured some fine solos, notably from the clarinet.

The conductor was KEGS Director of Music Tim Worrall.

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