There was a close romantic link between the four works from Maidstone Symphony Orchestra at the Mote Hall on Saturday night.
Not a sentimental St Valentine’s romanticism but the emotional intensity which came from the Romantic movement and lasted well into the 20th.
It is there in every bar of Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture. We can almost close our eyes and sniff the ozone as we indulge in the rapidly changing moods of the sea. Yet this is a beneficent ocean, exciting but never threatening even as it hurls us into the waves.
This gave way to the melancholy of Sibelius’ Valse triste.Here the strings remain deep within a dark memory, with only the flute and clarinet solos lifting us out of the presence of death.
Emma Johnson made a welcome return, and even more so with her captivating reading of Finzi’s Clarinet Concerto. Such fine playing deserved an encore and we were delighted with Paul Harvey’s Etude on a theme of Gershwin.
In the second half in Beethoven’s Eroica symphony Brian Wright brought out the dance-like quality of the scores, lightening the textures and allowing the solo lines to shine through. David Montague’s oboe was particularly effective.
The horns distinguished themselves with variety of tone, from the hunting calls to the softer introspection.
A fine evening – or should I say, another fine evening.
Join the orchestra on 22 March for Schumann, Beethoven and Sibelius: www.mso.org.uk.
Dr Brian Hick