A little light chamber music

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An appreciative and capacity audience welcomed the Scottish Chamber Orchestra to the Victoria Hall on Thursday July 26.

The programme was based on 19th century compositions and featured works of three of the great romantic composers. The opening piece by Saint-Saëns was the perfect choice for the more intimate style of the smaller-scale orchestra. The central work was Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in which the orchestra’s Director, Benjamin Marquise Gilmore, played the solo part and gave a stunning performance.

At the end of the first movement, the audience were treated to an outstanding display of professionalism from the orchestra, when one of the strings on the soloist’s violin snapped, but then watched the smoothest of transitions as the player at the first desk immediately handed the soloist her own violin and the music continued uninterrupted while another player repaired the broken string.

The concert finished with Beethoven’s 2nd Symphony and it was especially good to hear the use of natural trumpets and horns in this early but most attractive work. Also singled out for praise was the woodwind section and knitting all the performances together was the New Zealand conductor, Holly Mathieson. A most enjoyable evening.

                                                                                                                          David McEwan

Holly Mathieson conducts the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. NO_B31concert01

Victoria Hall was packed for the concert. NO_B31concert02