2016 Spring Concert Review

The North Downs Sinfonia Spring Concert – 7 May 2016

by Jon Allbutt

A warm evening, a buzz of anticipation for a programme of Mozart and Beethoven
Symphonies and some excellent singing too!

Opinions vary but Mozart seems to have rattled off a total of 41 completed published
symphonies, in addition to operas, concertos, chamber works and much more in such a
short life. The evening started with his ‘Haffner’ Symphony No 35, a work guaranteed to
warm up both the band and audience alike full of drama and energy. It is said that Emperor
Joseph II told Mozart that his work contained “too many notes” and this is a great example;
they tumbled out of the band filling the hall with sound, and then the lovely second
movement with great playing by the wind section especially clarinet and bassoon, the final
movement was finished in brisk fashion, a great finish and a lovely moment of silence before
we showed our appreciation

The Songs of the Auvergne by Canteloube was the next item on the programme sung by
Belinda Evans. Her voice is superb with support from the NDS, the wind section in particular,
getting the balance just right. After five lovely songs we were surprised when our conductor
Brynly Clark announced the inclusion of the Bailero, by far the most popular of the collection.
This music is so well suited to spring in the countryside around Tatsfield with all of its
colours, birdsong and sweeping valleys.

After a short interval Belinda continued with a Mozart Aria “Ch’io mi Scordi di te” and what a
surprise this was! Not just a lovely aria with full support from the NDS but almost a piano
concerto as well – well done young Alex Trigg!

The finale of the evening was the Beethoven 4th Symphony, one of my favourites. Beethoven
fans love the bigger symphonies full of drama and dismiss this lovely work as a lightweight.
The NDS played this with great enthusiasm and vigour after a demanding evening for all
sections. An ambitious programme finished in some style – well done!

The NDS is going from strength to strength, we are so lucky to have such a versatile and
enthusiastic band of musicians to bring a live music experience to Tatsfield – I am looking
forward to the next one!