Sow in June, will flower in November! Well, this concert, ‘Home Grown in Huddersfield’, saw the orchestra in full bloom.
Indeed a large orchestra is needed to meet the demands of the Romantic works on offer this evening.
We held a respectful silence to mark the tragedy in Paris and then heard the ‘1812’ Overture by Tchaikowsky. The opening disciplined and controlled string playing was impressive and hallmarked every piece in tonight’s programme.
As the music evolved there was no feeling of complacency from the players. Precision throughout, and especially from the brass who resisted any temptation to hurry the well-known motifs. The power-house of sound generated by the addition of the Hade Edge Brass band in the finale raised the roof!
‘Home grown lad’, Will Robertson was the cello soloist in the Dvorak Concerto. He played with an intensity of musical expression and created a beautiful tone whether in the upper or lower registers. The orchestra was a tremendous support and Robert Guy drew some fantastic tutti episodes from the ranks as well as commanding an impressive quieter sound when needed.
Tchaikowsky’s Fifth Symphony ended this concert and it is not an exaggeration to say that this performance touched professional standards. The lower strings produced a solid bedrock of sound underneath lovely clarinet playing at the outset.
A stunning horn solo at the start of the second movement was followed by beautifully phrased violin melodies. The waltz had a perfect lilt and allowed the fast wind passages to be well-placed. The finale reached a spectacular finish with a water-tight ensemble throughout all the dramatic tempi changes.
Included in Robert Guy’s vision for the orchestra has always been a desire to attract new players and forge links with the University of Huddersfield. This came to fruition with a blossoming orchestra, most apparent in the enlarged string section.
This is an orchestra, as one supporter told me, that is ‘going in the right direction’.
By Neil Atkinson