Or­ches­tral ge­nius

The Daily Examiner - - NEWS - — Joan Moy, South Grafton

WHAT an ex­hil­a­rat­ing way to spend Jacaranda Sun­day.

Who­ever thought or­ches­tral con­certs were bor­ing needs to ex­pe­ri­ence the Clarence Val­ley Orches­tra and Cho­rus strut­ting their stuff.

Con­duc­tor Greg Butcher has brought to­gether this group of multi-tal­ented mu­si­cians to form a won­der­fully co­he­sive group who ob­vi­ously en­joy mak­ing mu­sic to­gether.

The Sara­ton was packed to ca­pac­ity, abuzz with an­tic­i­pa­tion. We were not dis­ap­pointed.

From the rous­ing open­ing polka, we just knew that some­how the bar had been raised yet again.

El­gar’s Sa­lut d’amour was per­formed with su­perb sen­si­tiv­ity, fol­lowed by the choir’s spir­ited ren­di­tion of Verdi’s Cho­rus of the He­brew Slaves.

In­ter­na­tional pi­anist, David Helf­gott, daz­zled the au­di­ence with his re­mark­able tech­nique and unique in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the Li­tolff Scherzo, ably ac­com­pa­nied by the orches­tra. We were later treated to sev­eral solo pieces, my favourite be­ing Liszt’s Hun­gar­ian Rhap­sody.

A con­sum­mate en­ter­tainer, Mr Helf­gott had the au­di­ence in the palm of his hand … or should I say, hands?

To­tal change of pace saw Greg Butcher’s quirky lit­tle com­po­si­tion, Pizzi­cato Pluck­ers. He and Lisa, his daugh­ter, then per­formed the de­light­ful duet, Some­thing Stupid, with echoes of Frank and Nancy Si­na­tra.

There were two stir­ring rhyth­mi­cal dances – Lib­er­tango and Sabre Dance both of which had us hap­pily tap­ping out feet.

But it was the Can­tique de Jean Racine that al­most moved me to tears. The choir was mag­nif­i­cent, male singers in par­tic­u­lar. It was per­formed with such sen­si­tiv­ity.

The Mas­quer­ade Waltz had us sway­ing in our seats, with the strings in the sonorous lower reg­is­ter con­vey­ing the rich melodies to per­fec­tion. I was de­lighted to learn that this piece was the wed­ding waltz for Greg and Kathy Butcher (flautist in the orches­tra).

We were even treated to a mar­vel­lous ar­range­ment of I Still Call Aus­tralia Home clev­erly in­ter­twined with Waltz­ing Matilda. So mov­ing!

Be­ing a Proms con­cert, we all had a mar­vel­lous time obey­ing the Con­duc­tor by clap­ping softly or loudly in the Radet­sky March.

Fi­nally, it was time for Pomp and Cir­cum­stance. We lit­er­ally raised the roof singing Land of Hope and Glory. What a thrill!

Nat­u­rally, we de­manded an en­core.

We were de­lighted when one of the vi­o­lin­ists came onstage in a rather ill-fit­ting sailor suit to per­form the Sailor’s Horn­pipe. Such fun!

Thank you, Clarence Val­ley Orches­tra and Cho­rus for yet another mem­o­rable con­cert. I’m still smil­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.