Kingston Chamber Orchestra

KCO Concert in March 2007

MendelssohnOverture 'Fingals Cave'
BeethovenTriple Concerto (soloists Roy Stratford, Kathryn Parry, Emma Baldock)
TchaikovskySymphony No 1 in G minor

This concert was reviewed by Jim Addington.

'Evocative Music' opened and closed Kingston Chamber Orchestra's concert on Saturday in the Parish Church. Their conductor, Andy Meyers, began with Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture in which the waves battering on the rocky shore impose their rhythm; this changes later to an impression of the grandeur of the scene.

This was followed by Beethoven's Triple Concerto, an audience favourite, played delectably by Roy Stratford (piano), Kathryn Parry (violin) and Emma Baldock (cello). This work is played as if it is a trio with orchestral accompaniment, giving the three soloists ample opportunity to show their talent for close rapport. While it may not feature as one of Beethoven's major compositions it is still a work of art in its own right. Beethoven once said "I carry my thoughts about me for a long time, before writing them down... once I have grasped them I shall not forget it even years later ..." Eventually, he said, "I turn my ideas into tones that resound, roar and rage until they stand before me in the form of notes."

Symphony No. 1 by Tchaikovsky brought the concert to a close. This took up the evocative theme again; 'Dreaming on a wintry road' was the setting for the first movement, followed by 'a sledge drive across the frozen Ladoga Lake.' The final movement, we are told, describes 'a jubilant, dancing picture of a national holiday, full of bright colours and contentment.' Good string playing is surely essential to show off the sweep of Tchaikovsky's rhythms, and the 25-strong ensemble caught the mood, ably balanced by French horn and all other sections of the orchestra, giving a most competent and enjoyable performance.

They are especially fortunate to have an accomplished leader in Charles Knights. He has worked with many of the world's leading conductors and orchestras including the Philharmonia and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. Currently director of music at St.George's College, Weybridge, Charles Knights is regularly invited to direct the London Schools Ensemble.