On arrival the audience was greeted by a lovely sequence of short pieces played by the string ‘feeder’ group. Fredrik Holm’s light-hearted welcome was followed by the energetic Vaughan Williams ‘English Folk Song Suite’ with some lovely woodwind solos. In contrast to this very English music was Piazzola’s ‘Libertango’ in which the syncopated rhythms were no problem to these players!
At the heart of the WYO’s most enjoyable concert were three remarkable pieces which displayed a dazzling array of talents: ‘Africa’, ‘Caprice in D’ and ‘Primo Itinere’. The first, written by Marshall McDonald, is a substantial work full of African rhythms, which were played with vigour and accuracy by the young percussionists of the orchestra, and haunting mantra-like melodies delivered by all sections. For this the orchestra was joined by the Lancaster U3A singers, also trained by WYO’s energetic and imaginative conductor Fredrik Holm. This was a strikingly successful collaboration of young and old.
‘Caprice in D’ was written by Alistair Burton, WYO’s leader, and is a sleazy, tongue-in-cheek jazzy piece with a lovely feel for orchestral colour and texture. ‘Primo Itinere’, written by clarinettist Jenny Hucknall and conducted by trumpeter Sol Russell-Cohen, is an imaginative and atmospheric piece with very English modal harmonies.
This encouragement of young composers and conductors is a wonderful initiative by WYO. The reception accorded these performances, along with the award to Alistair Burton for the most outstanding contribution to the orchestra in the last year, is evidence of WYO’s continuing success.
R. Vaughan Williams English Folk Song Suite
A. Piazzolla Libertango
M. McDonald Africa
A. Burton Caprice in D
J Hucknall Primo Itinere
J. Barnes Variations on a Korean Folk Song
F. Mendelssohn Nocturne from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A. Dvorak Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”, 1st movement
H. Alfvén The Prodigal Son, Finale
Kendal Parish Church