Concertante Review

Lovely review of our concert in October, Concertante, from an audience member. It is great that they noticed that DECO is championing young performers as part of the orchestra

“Lichfield Cathedral played host to a wonderful evening of music on a cold October evening in 2015. After the previous spectacular concert which had taken place in February, this one was eagerly awaited and the chill in the air did nothing to deter the very large audience, including local MP Michael Fabricant who is always a very welcome, loyal and regular supporter of this classy, lively and vibrant orchestra based in Lichfield Cathedral. The atmosphere was warmed immediately, indeed as soon as DECO embarked upon their wonderful programme, which opened with Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante in B flat Major featuring DECO’s own Artistic Director Alex Laing (violin), George Caird (oboe), Jane Salmon (cello) and Keith Rubach (bassoon). The professionalism and sheer virtuosity of the players on this vast array of instruments was quite simply a joy to behold and how lucky were the audience feeling to have this quality of music right on their doorstep in Lichfield? This was an endearing and engaging performance with a strong feeling of chamber music about it.

This was then followed by Haydn’s Symphony no. 73 in D Major, “The Hunt”. This was an exciting rendition with noisy hunting horns and baying hounds and horses. The third movement, a beautiful Minuet with a Trio, showcased the oboe and bassoon once more and as the hunting party gradually dwindled away into the distance at the end, the crowd certainly did not, enjoying some light refreshments during which compliments about the orchestra and soloists were flowing.

The second half gave way to Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E flat Major, featuring Alex Laing once more, only this time alongside viola player Ruth Woolley. This work has it all-a majestic opening, a tragic second movement and a full rondo to finish-and the easy friendship and warmth between the soloists was tangible, adding an extra dimension to the dialogue created by Mozart between the two parts. The sheer delight of the soloists radiated out amongst the audience, creating immense pleasure for all who were fortunate enough to be present.

The soloists were delightfully and sensitively accompanied all evening by the 30-strong orchestra who lifted the music effortlessly from the page under the assured direction of former Lichfield Cathedral organist, Philip Scriven. It is such a pleasure to see very young players (at least two teenagers) nurtured alongside experienced professionals who share their passion and love for music and here the concert would suggest the future of classical music is in very safe hands indeed. Bravo DECO! “