Sunday 17 November 2013

UEA Symphony Orchestra's English Connection Concert

On the evening of Friday 15th November 2013 I attended the UEA Symphony Orchestra's The English Connection Concert at St. Andrew's Hall, Norwich. This was a Sir Colin Davis Memorial Concert. The orchestra were conducted by Sharon Andrea Choa and featured soloist Paul Silverthorne (viola).

The programme consisted of Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 (transcribed for viola) - Elgar and Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88 - Dvorak.

Elgar's Cello Concerto is the last of four expressively linked works together with the Violin Sonata, String Quartet and Piano Quintet he wrote in 1918 and 1919. The chamber works have a wistful and eerie enchantment, to which the concerto adds an unmistakably tragic tone. Viola player Lionel Tertis worked tirelessly to establish the viola as a solo instrument in its own right and made a transcription of Elgar's concerto in 1929.

Dvorak wrote the Eighth Symphony in 1889 and was published by the London firm of Novello and Co in 1892. The Eighth is thought of as the sunniest and most relaxed of Dvorak's symphonies, but there is considerable emotional darkness in the slow movement, as well as light and tranquillity.

This was a wonderful evening at St. Andrew's Hall as the UEA Symphony Orchestra performed splendid pieces by Elgar and Dvorak. This was a fitting memorial concert in memory of Sir Colin Davis.

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