Audience member Kay Johnson reviewed an 'extraordinary' Amersham Festival of Music concert on Friday, February 6. It was conducted by Iain Ledingham and was held in St Mary's Church
The last of the Autumn/Winter Series of concerts with the Amersham Festival Chamber Orchestra (leader: Charlotte Edwards) and their charismatic conductor Iain Ledingham was held Friday, February 6, at St Mary’s Church, Amersham.
It was a bitterly cold evening as we gathered for what promised to be a wonderful concert with music by Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn.
The concert opened with ‘Overture: The Creatures of Prometheus (Opus 43) – Ludwig Van Beethoven. The orchestra was much larger than usual for this work based on Goethe’s treatment of the Prometheus legend. To say we were spellbound would be an understatement, from the very first note the music soared to fill the whole church, really if you had been listening to it on the radio you would be forgiven for thinking you were listening to a full symphony orchestra. The well deserved applause was deafening.
Then jokingly Iain turned to the audience, as members of the orchestra left, saying he hoped they would be back later......
Next came two movements from the ‘Haffner Serenade’ – by Mozart K250; Iain had chosen the Andante and Adagio-Allegro assai. The Andante contains a particularly fine solo for the oboe which leads to a strikingly romantic episode for full orchestra.
The final movement starts with great beauty taking us to the delightfully witty tour de force. While we were all applauding like mad we were also thinking just how lucky to be able to attend such fabulous concerts on our doorstep.
Taking us into the interval we heard ‘Symphony No 43 in E flat major (Mercury) – Joseph Haydn. This splendid symphony, was played with great sensitivity, the Adagio being particularly beautiful leading us into the Finale – Allegro assai which was wonderfully vivacious and inventive.
The audience loved it and the applause was once again deafening. During the interval members of the audience got up, chatting to one another like one big family, which we all feel we are.
The concert ended, with the extra musicians returning to their places, for ‘Symphony No.2. in D Major – Ludwig Van Beethoven. As we listened to this it was difficult to understand how badly received it was when first performed. Tonight there was never any doubt of what we thought of this work and of the performance given by the Amersham Chamber Orchestra.
When the work finished the applause hit the roof with smiles all round from Iain Ledingham, the musicians and we went out into the cold night with the wonderful feeling that we had witnessed something quite extraordinary and magnificent, which we had, who cared about the cold?
Thank you all so much and we look forward to the next season.
For tickets phone 0333 6663366 (our agent Ticket Source) or see www.amershamfestival.org