Folkish flavours in a fantastic summer concert for Horsham Symphony Orchestra

Horsham Symphony Orchestra
Horsham Symphony Orchestra

REVIEW BY Kirsten Parry

A beautifully crafted programme caused much excitement amongst the audience in the balmy evening of the hottest day of the year so far.

It was captivating to hear Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. The textural contrasts were incredibly effective, with two string orchestras and a string quartet whose solos were breathtaking. Next, we were treated to the timbral contrast of the wind, brass and percussion sections in Grainger’s thrilling Lincolnshire Posy; an exciting end to the first half of a varied and vibrant concert.

After the interval, we heard the much-anticipated premiere of Adriano Adewale’s Percussion Concerto. His rapport with Steve and the orchestra was evident as he was rapturously welcomed to perform his own, beautifully introduced, work. As Adewale indicated, music is ‘a powerful weapon of togetherness’ and he clearly conveyed this through his integration of unexpected instrumentation and musical styles. The audience was engaged throughout with an astonishing array of Brazilian and Angolan instruments and Adewale’s stage presence brought the performance – and the orchestra – alive. The concerto was a great joy to watch and listen to and we’re excited to see what Adewale does next with his virtuosic and compositional talent.

The final step on our musical folk journey was Bartok’s Dance Suite. The urgent but constantly changing atmosphere was beautifully crafted by Dummer with the orchestra maintaining an infectious enthusiasm right up until the final flourish. Yet another wonderful evening thanks to HSO – the countdown is now on for Mahler 2 in November!

REVIEW BY Kirsten Parry