28 March 2017

A day in the (symphonic) life

Last Sunday was another National Capital Orchestra concert, this time at TheQ, that lovely and clever little theatre at Queanbeyan. Sixty-or-so players performing a Sibelius tone poem, The Wood Nymph, Glière Horn concerto and Dvorak Symphony no.5. The tone poem was an odd thing, telling the story of Björn, a handsome young chap who catches the eye of the spirits who then lure his to a Skogsrå (wood nymph) who seduces him, leaving him in lifelong despair. So says the program. In practice, it was long, unchanging passages of accompaniment and occasional flourishes, but I liked it. Then our guest, Rob Gladstones, a product of Canberra but now a principal horn player for the WA Symph Orch. This was a romantic piece with some very odd and tricky lines which (I liked but which were very slippery) and plenty of accidentals, not least otherwise infrequent double sharps. We'd prepared without Rob and hadn't heard his feature solo prior to the performance, so it remained fresh on the night. Some seriously impressive horn playing - someone said over 4 octaves. Then the symphony, Dvorak no.4. It's well known for the lively third movement. A nice, interesting work with some fast and even furious lines but not the trickiness of the Gliere. One other feature of the performance was the bass section, now counting 4 players: Matt, Roger, Geoff and Eric. But what of the day? Set up from 11am (lugging risers and chairs), warm up from 12.30pm, then lunch and return by 2.30pm for performance at 3pm. We hung out in the local pub and not alone in that. What a good day! Here are a few pics of a day in the life.

National Capital Orchestra performed Dvorak, Gliere and Sibelius at TheQ under Leonard Weiss (conductor) with soloist Rob Gladstones (horn). The bass section comprised Matthew Gambrill, Roger Grime, Geoff Prime and Eric Pozza (basses).

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