Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra Blog

2009 underway
February 3, 2009, 10:24 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Once again, apologies for using this discussion forum for a ‘business’ post. It is so convenient.

2009 is well underway and the concert in march with Brahms 4 and Poulenc Stabat Mater looks very exciting.  We are now under the guidance of a ‘new look’ committee including Julia Robinson as secretary, Kath Hathaway as membership secretary and Neil Twist as a co-opted member. Subs can be given to Kath! The treasurer’s post is vacant and, until it is filled, I will act as caretaker.

Once again, we are committed to the Botanic Gardens concert.

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Re the june 2010 concert:
For once it seemed that word had got through to the public of Seffield that the SPO under Ewa

Strusinska were a force to be reckoned with. I write were, because Ewa has now moved on leaving

behind an orchestra in far better shape and self belief than that she found back in 2007. Certainly, I

don’t think I’ve seen St Mark’s so full for an SPO concert. Some might attrbute this to the presence of

the violin soloist Keith Ramsell returning to his former haunts and bringing along some of his family.

Others were drawn by the sad fact that this was Ewa’s final concert with the SPO.

The concert opened with the Outdoor Overture by Aaron Copland. (Since this piece will also be played in

the Botanical Gardens concert on July 3rd, I will refrain from commenting.) This was followed by one of

the giants of the violin concerto repertoire, the concerto by Khachaturian, played by the work’s first

British player Keith Ramsell. It was a performance to enjoy with measured accompaniment showing off

the not inconsiderable violin part. Certainly Keith Ramsell enjoyed himself, even playing a Bach piece as

an encore.

After the interval we had a brief excursion into music of the 19th Century with Elgar’s Salut d’amour

before returning to the 20th Century for that composer’s Sospiri written to mark the loss of a dear

friend – highly appropriate under the circumstances.

The final work in the concert was Respighi’s Pines of Rome.In the quieter passages Ewa brought in a

lightness of touch giving delicate subtlety to the work with Roberto meoni’s clarinet prominent. The work

closes with a vivid depiction of a Roman General bringing his legion home after a tour of duty taming the

provincial barbarian hordes. The orchestra achieved such a level of volume that some feared for the

fabric of the building (it’s no wonder so many Roman buildings are in ruins). Special mention must be

made of the brass section, but here was an orchestra playing its heart out for a much loved conductor.

It was a highly emotional night. We wish Ewa and Pawel all the best for the future. To close the Roman theme:

Illa venit, vidit, vicit.
She came, she saw, she conquered.

Comment by Andrew Calow

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