REVIEW: Horsham Symphony Orchestra tackles an ambitious programme

HSO with Kieran Carter
HSO with Kieran Carter

Horsham Symphony Orchestra spring concert

There is something hugely exciting in waiting for a live performance to begin, and the atmosphere in The Capitol Theatre before Horsham Symphony Orchestra’s latest concert was no exception.

The programme was ambitious; but with obvious enthusiasm, conductor Steve Dummer gave an excellent introduction to The Chairman Dances by John Adams.

This skilfully executed piece created an almost cinematic soundscape of two distinct cultures butting against one another.

The HSO’s young percussionists were outstanding throughout, but the way they created the dying sounds of the gramophone needle at the end of the piece was mesmeric. A memorable performance indeed.

The orchestra warmly welcomed back one of its own in soloist Kieran Carter for Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 2 with an extremely accomplished performance. There was beautiful interplay between the soloist and orchestra in the first movement and the energetic cadenza had the audience gripped. The second movement allowed Kieran to demonstrate his more soulful side, particularly in the mellifluous caramel tones of the initial solo – tailing into an ethereal ending.

The joyful third movement was a masterclass in acrobatic fingering; technically demanding, but very assured.

Throughout, the orchestral accompaniment was well rounded and supportive.

Kieran Carter is definitely a musician with a future to watch.

After the interval, we were treated to Shostakovitch Symphony No.1. Under Steve Dummer’s expert direction, the orchestra gave their all. This symphony is a complex intense work, and HSO did it complete justice. The audience were spellbound, and the tumultuous applause at the end was entirely justified.

How fortunate we are, to have such a wealth of musical talent on our doorstep!

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