“The winner will receive a bag of my freshly baked Swedish cinnamon rolls,” the Westmorland Youth Orchestra’s innovative new musical director, Fredrik Holm, announced at the start of Classical Quiz Night concert. In this concert-with-a-difference, audience members were invited to guess the repertoire for the evening, with clues and anecdotes from the conductor.
A thunderous crash from the percussion heralded Copland’s majestic brass Fanfare for the Common Man, followed by the celebrated dance from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.
Four violin soloists played a movement each of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: an assured Winter from 10-year-old Martin Greaves, a passionate Summer from Maciet Rzepczyk, a well-polished Spring from Paddy Davies, and new leader Alistair Burton performed a sensitive and technically-proficient Autumn.
The WYO’s quality was on display with effortless tempo changes in Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No 5, beautiful phrasing in Bizet’s Prelude from L’Arlesienne Suite (with a heartfelt saxophone solo), and marked articulation in the Hornpipe from Handel’s Water Music.
Despite it being notoriously difficult to play such well-known pieces, soloist Ellie Moore performed the second movement from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with tenderness, and the orchestra did the first movement of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony justice.
Fredrik stood aside to let two young players conduct the orchestra, whilst he led the 250-strong audience in a rousing chorus of Bizet’s Toreador song.
Strauss’ Radetsky March brought the curtain down on a performance that showed that despite the departure of Roland Fudge in the summer, the Westmorland Youth Orchestra is still in excellent hands.
Copland Fanfare for the Common Man
Prokofiev Montagues and Capulets, Romeo and Juliet
Vivaldi Four Seasons (Soloists – Martin Greaves, Maciet Rzepczyk, Paddy Davies, Alistair Burton)
Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G minor
Verdi Triumph March
Handel Alla Hornpipe – Suite No. 2 in D major, Water Music
Mozart 2nd movement, Clarinet Concerto (Soloist – Ellie Moore)
Beethoven 1st movement, Symphony No. 5
Bizet Torreador, Carmen
J Strauss Radetzky March
The Lakes School, Windermere