Kingston Chamber Orchestra

KCO Concert in March 2005

BeethovenCorolian Overture
WeberConcertino in Eb Op 26 for Clarinet (soloist Helen Smith)
MilhaudLe Boeuf sur le Toit
SchubertSymphony No 2

This concert featured Helen Smith, one of the founder members of the Orchestra, in Weber's exciting Concertino for Clarinet.

Helen is a multitalented individual, and since leaving the Royal College of Music, she has had a very varied career. Apart from playing the clarinet, she has run a music agency whose clients included Bob Geldof and Rick Wakeman, she works as a reflexologist, and she is well known for her Cadenza music classes for the under 5's. She has made CDs and videos of the children's songs that she has written, and her for the under 5's was a bestseller in the WH Smith children's chart. She is a charismatic performer, and her sensitive performance of the Mozart concerto with the orchestra in 1995 was particularly memorably - she had bare feet!

The concert opened with Beethoven's well-known Coriolan Overture. However, the other two works in the programme were rather more unusual. The first half concluded with Milhaud's Le Boef sur le Toit (The Ox on the Roof). With a title like that, you can just tell what sort of piece it is. This piece was inspired by Harlem jazz, but it is spiced with Milhaud's own brand of humour, and the instruments seem to be constantly arguing over what key they should be playing in. It is very catchy and perhaps one of the funniest pieces ever written.

Schubert's later symphonies are well known in the concert hall, but his early works are rather neglected. To put this right the KCO performed Schubert's Second Symphony in the second half of the concert. The piece maybe lightweight, but it is charming and full of the beautiful lyrical melodies that are so characteristic of Schubert's works.

Due to the unavailability of Charles Knights for this concert, we were delighted to welcome Adrian Charlesworth as guest leader. Adrian has played the violin since he was a young child and led the Kingston Junior Orchestra at the tender age of eight! He studied at the Royal Academy with Alla Sharova and Brian Underwood. He now teaches at St Georges College with Charles as well as undertaking freelance work.