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

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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

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