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Spring Concert 2016

A wonderful Spring Concert took place in the Elder Concert Hall on Friday 11 March.

The concert started with Johannes R as the soloist with the Orchestra, conducted by Duncan Emerson, performing Johan Svendsen’s Romance for Violin and Orchestra in G, Op. 26. Johannes gave a stunning performance of this highly romantic and challenging piece. There was much rubato and passion which was expertly handled by the soloist and orchestra alike. Millie D and Iona M paired up to play the 2nd and 3rd movements of Mendelssohn’s  Konzertstuck No.1, Op. 113: Andante & Allegro molto accompanied by full orchestra. Their extraordinary hard work running up to the concert greatly paid off with a highly memorable performance. Their communication with each other was impressive and the fast passages in the final movement were played with great accuracy over the whole range of the instrument.

The Chamber Orchestra followed with a performance of J S Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D minor BWV 1043: Largo, ma non tanto conducted by Christina Scott. The two soloists, Isobel M and Samantha H gave a beautiful performance, full of lyrical phrasing and purity of sound and balance. His Concerto for Two Violins in D minor BWV 1043 is also referred to as the Bach Double and the largo movement shows Bach’s immense capabilities as a composer, with complex harmonies and overlapping imitative phrasing. It is a movement that skillfully combines tranquility with intensity of feeling. The Chamber Orchestra performed Dag Wirén’s Serenade for String Orchestra Op. 11: Andante espressivo in their own right. The ensemble sound of these very fine players was impressive – with the lighthearted pizzicato accompaniment cleverly precise interwoven with the bowed romantic melodic line.

The Orchestra came back together to finish the first half featuring Alma OE as the soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.5: Adagio un poco mosso. His fifth piano concerto, also known as the Emperor concerto, was his last piano concerto, written towards the end of his life. Alma performed the slow movement, Adagio un poco mosso in B major from memory and gave justice to the highly charged emotion and musical lines within this beautiful piece.

The Amaris Choir started the second half off in style under the direction of Isabel White with William Ings accompanying on the piano. They sang the gospel-style Rolling in the Deep by Adele and Photograph by Ed Sheeran. This song tells of the challenges of a long distance relationship, inspired by Sheeran’s own situation with then girlfriend Nina Nesbitt. The Clarinet group followed with J S Bach’s Gigue from Orchestral Suite No. 3. It was impressive to welcome back Iona and Millie after their solo performances in the first half. They were joined in the quartet by Cairo F and Bertrand EW.

The Allegri Choir, under the direction of Duncan Emerson accompanied by Graham Scott on the piano, performed the popular 1950’s number Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight by Calvin Carter and James Hudson. This was full of energy and a great sense of fun. In complete contrast, they performed no. V. Dirait-on from the song set Les Chansons des Roses by Morten Lauridsen. This was a well chosen piece for the choir as their lovely natural sense of balance between all four voice parts created something very magical. A small choir broke off from the masses and moved to the balcony to form the semi-chorus in a specially arranged setting of Miserere by Gregorio Allegri. They captured the atmosphere of the Sistine Chapel, within the Vatican in Rome. The singers in the semi-chorus deserve special mention as Sumei BS and Rosie L were carefully chosen to sing the legendary top Cs! The Guitar ensemble played Despertar by Jaime Cordoba. This was a polished performance and we were reminded how beautifully the acoustic works for guitar players in the concert hall.

The finale of the concert was as impressive in its size as it was in its musicality. The Combined Choir (which is one quarter of the school, some 170 singers) combined forces with the Chamber Orchestra to perform movement no. 28 He Trusted in God from Part II of Handel’s Messiah. This was a powerful and fitting end to an ambitious concert of extraordinary quality.

Thanks to all of the pupils and especially the brave soloists, all of who rose to the occasion brilliantly to provide a fantastic evening of music on home ground.