Ron Walker, conductor of Tayside Symphony Orchestra, gives his critique of the most recent Tayside Symphony Orchestra concert.
“Traditionally, the February concert has had a lighter theme so that it would appeal to all musical tastes. With 11 items on the programme, there was definitely something for everyone. This concert was dedicated to the late Audrey Brown, former depute head teacher, piano teacher and a very talented ‘cello player, who had been a devoted orchestra member for many, many years.
“Audrey’s sister, Muriel Dyer undertook the daunting role of soloist on Saturday when the orchestra presented a performance of the ‘Meditation from Thais’ by Massenet; the respect that TSO had for Audrey was tangible in the sympathetic playing of this piece as individually and collectively the orchestra took its final farewell.
“Through the long, winding melody, Muriel beautifully captured the intensity of feeling which is the hallmark of the many moods in the piece, and, in so doing, offered a fitting tribute to her late sister.
“By way of contrast, the cheerful tribute to ‘Rossini’ by Eric Fenby based on the Yorkshire folksong ‘On Ilkla Moor’ was captured perfectly. Special mention must be made of the melodic horn fanfare opening and the clarinet solo in the cadenza.
“The selection from ‘Evita’ was a medley of strong, memorable melodies. This arrangement brought out the feelings of the LLoyd Webber musical from poverty to power, sentimentality to poignancy - it was most enjoyable.
“The very well balanced and constructed programme also included extracts from The Holberg Suite for Strings. The string duets, particularly the one by violin and viola, were played in beautiful harmony. ‘The Dance of the Hours’, ‘Playful Scherzo’, ‘Theme from Out of Africa’ and ‘The Mexican Hat Dance’ completed the programme.
“‘Champagne Polka’ by Strauss, was played as an encore. The percussion section, clearly enjoying themselves, livened up this piece and rounded off a most enjoyable evening of light music.”