2015 Autumn Concert Reviewby Ana Hughes
Those of you who attended the wonderful concert at the Village Hall in Tatsfield last Saturday evening will I am sure agree with me that we experienced a Russian evening of music to be proud of.
I have been a regular attendee at these amazing bi-annual concerts, where the standard of playing,
soloists and conducting never fails to please, for a number of years now, and each time seems at
least as good as and sometimes better than the last!
Well - onto the review!
The talented musicians of the North Downs Sinfonia, led capably and ably by the enthusiastic young
conductor Jonathan Maynard, launched into an energetic and passionate performance of Glinka’s
‘Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture which set the scene and got us all in the mood.
Next came a real treat to all who, like me, were introduced to Prokofiev at a very early age through his amazing ‘Peter and the Wolf’ a child’s tale told through different instruments and sections of the
orchestra. The tale was narrated by the orchestra’s own Michelle Francis who gave a fantastic and
expressive version of the story, introducing the various soloists in their roles in the tale. Each soloist
did their part proud, whether an individual (the Cat – clarinet – Sarah Trigg, the Duck – oboe – Katrina Edwards, the Bird – flute – Lucy Freeman, the Grandfather – bassoon – Vikta Harvey, the hunters and guns – timpani – Simon Heydecker-Dent) or groups ( the Wolf – horns led by Paul Kajzar, Peter – all the strings). It was a lively and fun rendition of this well known piece, with lots of energy which really pulled the audience into the tale and brought them along through the capture of the wolf, the procession to the zoo and the sad lonely quacking of the duck at the end.
The last piece before the interval was a personal favourite of mine, bringing back memories of trips to the ballet with my parents! The piece was introduced with panache and no small amount of humour by the conductor – Jon Maynard – and each highlight was a delight, summarising this seasonal favourite of many people. Each section of the orchestra was clear and held its own with strong strings bringing the lyrical flow of the Waltz of the Flowers, the beautiful harp introducing the Dance of the Flowers and the strong brass in the March. Delightful!!
After a break with a welcome drink and chocolate biscuit, it was back to the long awaited rendition of
another of my all time personal favourite pieces of music – Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No 2 in C Minor! The soloist Mariela Cingo, with her vivid hair was absolutely stunning – from the moment her hands touched the well worn keys of the Village Hall piano I was mesmerised. The Moderato was
lyrical and touching, with the different orchestra sections complementing and enhancing the amazing
piano performance. Then the gloves were off and the tears came at the Adagio Sostenuto which was
just incredible, notes singing from the piano and being caught and enhanced by the orchestra. The
last movement was the icing on the cake, energy pouring from the conductor who was so caught up in
the orchestra, the music and the soloist.
With crashing appreciation the audience clapped until hands were sore to show how they felt at the
end of this incredible performance. Jonathan was visibly touched by the piece and his involvement,
and at the professionalism and energy of both the orchestra (led by Sylvia Seaton) and the soloist!
What a journey through Russian music that was and how lucky we are to be able to have access to
such talent and breadth of musical expression in Tatsfield.
I can’t wait until the spring concert! Thank you North Downs Sinfonia and Mariela Cingo