TAYSIDE Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Angus Choral Society and the Cecilian Choir from Dundee, performed to a capacity audience in the Reid Hall, Forfar last Saturday evening.
The performance by both the players and singers was second to none.
The evening opened with Schubert’s ‘Rosamunde’ Overture and from the opening bars by the solo oboe, the orchestra set the tone for the evening.
The entry of the singers had a touch of theatre and was rather dramatic.
The lights dimmed and from the wings the singers appeared carrying small lights.
They weaved their way around the string section and climbed on to the stage to the rousing ‘Conquest of Paradise’ by Vangelis which was arranged for orchestra and choir by Ron Walker.
The scene was then set for Haydn’s St Nicholas Mass.
This Mass follows the traditional pattern and in each part the tonal quality was superb. Particular praise must be given to the four soloists - Jill Harrison, Mike Towers, Alison Barton and George Gordon - who delivered very fine contributions throughout.
The choral section of the programme concluded with an arrangement for strings and choir of Schubert’s setting of ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’ by Ron Walker. The second half of the programme consisted of one of Beethoven’s best known symphonies, Symphony No.3 which is ‘Eroica.’
The orchestra highlighted the clear contrasts in the symphony between the sadness of the Funeral March in the second movement and the vigorous and dramatic melodies elsewhere. The French Horns shone in the Scherzo and in the final Allegro, the orchestra excelled in weaving the various themes climaxing in a wonderful crescendo.
Ron Walker is to be commended for the high quality achieved throughout the evening and Mary Veal, who is also a violin player with the orchestra, must be warmly congratulated for training the singers to such a high quality.