26 March 2024


Whenever I mentioned Stravinsky or Firebird suite to someone they were awed. I was certainly challenged by Firebird, but nothing like its accompaniment, Prokofiev Violin concerto no.2. That was a doozy. All manner of changing counts and tempos and key signatures (6 sharps anyone?) and chromatics and maybe diminisheds. The associated naturals went down well. But NCO is a capable orchestra and we had energetic and supportive Musical director Louis Sharpe, and a wonderful and joyous soloist, Mia Stanton, and we had two warm-up pieces that were much more relaxed and shorter but still profound to warm up on. They were local compositions, by one of our horns, Thomas, and an arrangement by Sally of a lovely and quite profound short piece by Scriabin. There were some tricky bits and minor slip-ups and unsure timing in the bigger works but on the other side were the wonderfully expressive winds and the unflinching strings and percussion to drum the grooves into us. The orchestral layout was different, basses stage left (for the audience) and much bigger (recently grown to ~70 players including new ANUSOM students) and we got an unusually unimpeded view of the stunning lines from flutes and clarinets and the rest. It was a pleasure and a huge achievement when it was all over. We'd survived, even enjoyed, the rigours of the Prokofiev and pretty much laughed off the fears of Firebird. Thus are memories created. And as for memories, Louis and Alina have created their own memory recently. Congrats from CJ.

National Capital Orchestra performed Stravinski, Prokofiev, Thomas McConachie and Sally Greenaway / Scriabin at TheQ. Louis Sharpe (conductor), Mia Stanton (solo violin) performed.

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