Articles Comments

David Porter » Reviews » The Soldier’s Tale

The Soldier’s Tale

Chamber Orchestra Anglia
Playhouse Theatre, Norwich

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 25 September 2010

The Soldiers Tale

A concert in aid of Help for Heroes was a perfect vehicle for Chamber Orchestra Anglia to show their skills in an entertaining and richly varied way, under the firm but sensitive baton of Sharon Choa.

A suite compiled from an original radio score by Benjamin Britten, Sword in the Stone, started the loosely-militaristic themed evening. This early work of some parody and musical directness demonstrated perfectly Britten’s emerging but unique voice.

Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale is set to a text from an old Russian folk tale. With repeated militaristic imagery and rhythms of jazz, ragtime, tango, waltz and marching, it demands the highest virtuosity and dexterity from the instrumentalists. They gave it in full measure.

The libretto was narrated beautifully by writer and broadcaster Nigel Rees, and he should have left his contribution to that alone. Leader of the orchestra Simon Smith gave a flawless interpretation.

The finale was Haydn’s Symphony No 1, popularly called the ‘Military’. Echoes of that reverberate throughout the four movements, a resounding piece from the late 18th century, with a voice that still speaks and moves today, particularly with British troops so active.

This orchestra is an asset to our region, with a growing reputation for high-quality, innovative work, and this performance did nothing but enhance it.

Filed under: Reviews · Tags:

Leave a Reply