Sunday, 11 April 2010

The Paradise Garden

Last night we enjoyed a top-class concert given by the young orchestra 'Sinfonia d'Amici' under their conductor Harry Ogg, an undergraduate at Cambridge. Our daughter was playing the cor anglais in the beautifully evocative and sensual 'The Walk to the Paradise Garden' by Delius. The orchestra is made up entirely of students, at school, university or music college and would stand comparison with any good professional group. The playing in the Delius brought out every nuance and layer of sound colour, and was followed by a wonderfully taut performance of Rachmaninov's 'Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini.' Not so much a rhapsody as an inventive set of variations. The concert finished with a rich, full-blooded performance of Tchaikovky's 5th symphony, played with a mixture of delicacy and swagger.

What was so inspiring about this concert, apart from the music itself, was the initiative that Harry Ogg has taken in founding the orchestra. It started with friends from the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, but as they leave left the LSSO it has begun to take on a life of its own. Harry is both a musician and an entrepreneur and I wish him and the orchestra well.

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