Ambitious programme from TSO

AROUND 350 people accepted the ‘Invitation to the Dance’, the theme of the evening concert by Tayside Symphony Orchestra in Forfar’s Reid Hall last Saturday.

Eleven items were included in the programme - the Strauss family contributed five; the Polka from Auf der Jagd showed colourful use of horns and trumpets; the Polka - Unter Donner und Blitz (Thunder and Lightning) - evoked the rolling sound of thunder and the brilliant flashes of lightning.

‘The Blue Danube’ was one glorious melodic strain following another, climaxing in a superb tonal quality. Von Weber’s ‘Invitation to the Waltz’ was an intricate piece which the orchestra coped with admirably. Shostakovich’s ‘Jazz Suite No 2’ evoked the sound and atmosphere of Russia and special mention must be made of the trombone and saxophone solos, as well as the lightning glockenspiel.

The inclusion of pieces by Tchaikovsky provided an interesting contrast from the Eastern European region with the waltz and the polka, a melodic dance of Polish origin.

There were three dances from Dvorak’s ‘Slavonic Dances’ and the impressive opening fanfare in Von Suppe’s ‘Banditenstreiche Overture’ was followed by almost funereal music, a very tuneful mid-section which led to a rousing finale.

When the orchestra struck the opening bars of Johann Strauss’ ‘Radetzky March’ as an encore there was a round of applause.

This was an ambitious programme and the players and conductor deserve warm congratulations for the hard work which must have accompanied rehearsing such a large number of pieces.

Special mention to the woodwind section, to Bob Thomson and Heather Crabb who were ably supported by other members such as Paul Judge, his group of young percussionists and various members of the brass section, to timpanist Fiona Ewen and harpist Sophie Agnew and the entire string section which was extremely well led by guest leader Angus Anderson.

Rehearsals will soon be starting for the gala concert to celebrate the orchestra’s 20th birthday in the Reid Hall, Forfar ,on Saturday, June 22. Contributed.