Showing posts from September, 2015

Chandos Symphony Orchestra at the Forum Theatre in Malvern by Christopher Morley

The Malvern-based Chandos Symphony Orchestra, always renowned for the enterprising nature of its programming, put on its most ambitious presentation yet on Sunday, bringing three masterworks of early last century which would tax even professional ensembles. Certainly these dedicated amateurs could have done with a departure from their usual restricted rehearsal policy, and had a couple more sessions to consolidate confidence and liberate a bit more fantasy. Strings needed a deeper roundness of tone at times (which would have led to greater security of intonation), just as brass could have done with greater self-belief, but nevertheless this was an enormously engaging evening to enter into the Chandos archives. Rachmaninov's haunting tone-poem The Isle of the Dead rocked and flowed with a sureness of pulse under Peter Stark's baton as the rowing-boat in Bocklin's amazing painting brought its coffin to rest. Climaxes were built with patient inevitability, but timbres we