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An all-Beethoven affair

The Royal Northern Sinfonia’s programme for the Lakeland Sinfonia’s most recent concert was an all-Beethoven affair: The Creatures of Prometheus Overture, the 4th Piano Concerto and the 4th Symphony. The director and pianist was Lars Vogt, the Sinfonia’s Music Director. During the pre-concert talk, throughout which ideas were floated relating to Beethoven – the man […]

Refined musicianship was at the helm throughout

As the prolonged final applause at the Hallé’s recent concert at the Westmorland Hall faded, a gentleman rose to his feet, stretched luxuriously, turned to his neighbour and expressed the opinion held by everybody in the Hall at that moment: ‘Magnificent!’ Three composers had been represented: Grieg, Richard Strauss and Sibelius, each knowing how to […]

Piano concerto is tour de force for soloist and orchestra

When I reviewed the previous concert given by the Lakeland Sinfonia I gave the gist of overheard remarks of many at the concert: ‘That was the best playing I’ve heard from this orchestra’. Happily, the quality of performance at its most recent concert confirmed those opinions. Under the direction of New Zealander, Michael Joel and […]

Camerata’s Viennese Night

Overheard prior to the Manchester Camerata’s New Year concert at the Kendal Leisure Centre: “I wouldn’t care if I never heard another note of Strauss or Korngold”. Odd, to say the least! Why spend good money to attend a concert at which, clearly, the Strauss family was going to be strongly represented and possibly Korngold, […]

Lakeland Sinfonia cracked the nut!

During the interval a lady observed, ‘I bet you’ll enjoy writing this one up!’ From the outset and through the orchestra’s musical journey, my sense was that the evening was destined to be quite special. Indeed, as we trooped out into the December chill, I could not but wholeheartedly agree with the many overheard comments […]

what a joyful concert! [RNS 11th Nov 17]

What a joyful concert from the RNS, when they presented 5 out of Bach’s 6 Brandenburg Concertos. Sprightly dance rhythms, thrilling high solo trumpet flourishes, poignant song-like slow movements, nail-biting virtuoso semiquaver runs from the solo harpsichord and violin, and embellished where necessary with historically appropriate and expressive ornamentation. Without a conductor, these wonderful musicians […]

Bach and Gorecki marathon!

The Royal Northern Sinfonia, a regular guest of the Lakeland Sinfonia Concert Society, recently presented a programme consisting of five of Bach’s six Brandenburg concerti and a couple of works by Gorecki. From the perspectives of both audience and players, this represented quite a marathon. The Brandenburgs are infused with a wealth of counterpoint and […]

RNS 7th Oct splendid sell-out concert!

Applause greeted the orchestra’s entrance and, after an elongated pause, the director arrived – a small, bustling figure bounding energetically up the stairs and making his way centre-stage. Renewed applause brought forth the familiar, much-loved response – a couple of deep, comic bows to the audience and his colleagues – and the concert was up […]

Majestic concert to complete the season

The Westmorland Hall’s relatively small stage is only occasionally so crammed full of chairs and music stands as it was when the BBC Philharmonic was the recent guest of the Lakeland Sinfonia Concert Society. Adding to the air of excited expectancy was the array of microphones poised rather menacingly above the stage. A memorable evening […]

Emma Johnson and Lakeland Sinfonia excel!

At the time of the Lakeland Sinfonia’s recent concert we were enjoying the early days of spring and much of the orchestra’s programme was bright, cheerful and optimistic. There were two items, however, that provoked a darker mood, a mood mirrored in the Westmorland Hall’s stage décor, where most of the vertical surfaces are draped with […]