All posts by Philip Buttall

Philip R Buttall was the Classical Music Writer at Plymouth Herald from 1997-2017. He is a sought-after piano teacher, composer and arranger, and online concert and CD reviewer. Further information and contact details are available at www.philiprbuttall.co.uk

Memorable and alluring performance from Dartington Chamber Orchestra as part of Open Arms Week

What a wonderful feast of largely Arab music Dartington Chamber Orchestra served up to a large audience, all part of the Open Arms week of events held in support of asylum-seekers and refugees in South Devon.

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University of Plymouth Choral Society and Sinfonia in stirring form at the Minster Church of St Andrew

There is nothing more disappointing than going to hear a large choir sing something they’ve been working really hard on, only for the guest soloists to end up having all the best bits on the night.

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Warm tones from Mediterranean-inspired music in Plymouth

Although the forecast balmy weather hadn’t materialised, there were more than enough pyrotechnics allied to a gloriously warm tone to ensure the heat was well and truly turned on throughout this very enjoyable and varied recital of music inspired by the Mediterranean, and from composers in its vicinity.

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Delightful tribute to Shakespeare from Ten Tors Orchestra & Bath Spa University Chamber Choir (review)

Peninsula Arts in conjunction with Suzanne Sparrow Language School mounted a delightful tribute to William Shakespeare, 400 years to the day after his death, as part of the current celebrations happening around the country, and at Plymouth University.

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Genuine emotion as Dartington Community Choir performed St John Passion at Dartington Great Hall

Most large choirs have to rely on a rehearsal-accompanist in the initial preparation of a new work, able only to afford the orchestra’s services virtually on the day.

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Plymouth Symphony Orchestra attracts bigger turn out with drama and spirit of performance

Plymouth Symphony Orchestra has been giving three large-scale concerts annually for years – something that needs much time and dedication from players who give their services freely.

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University of Plymouth Choral Society welcomes spring to a delighted audience at Minster Church of St Andrew

Most of us can remember our school concerts, whether we took part, or were just there to listen.

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Flowing performance in series devoted to music’s ties with the world’s greatest oceans and seas

Dvořák’s American Quartet got the second recital in a three-part series devoted to music’s ties with the world’s greatest oceans and seas off to a spirited start.

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Welcome return of the abundant talents of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra with Jean-Guihen Queyras at Plymouth Guidhall

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra marked its long-overdue return to the Guildhall with a delightful mix of classical and neo-classical works, under the inspired direction of Frank Zielhorst.

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‘Countdown to Christmas, in a delightful moorland setting’: Ten Tors Orchestra & Choir with Alexander Robin Baker at Tavistock Church

The Ten Tors at Tavistock isn’t just mere alliteration – it’s a well-established annual event that truly marks the final countdown to Christmas, in a delightful moorland setting.

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Fresh and joyous Christmas Concert from Dartington Community Choir at Dartington Great Hall (review)

It felt wonderfully apt to round off this splendid Christmas Concert by Dartington Community Choir with a number of congregational carols.

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University of Plymouth Choral Society sets the scene for the festive season

When the University of Plymouth Choral Society presents its annual Christmas Concert, you can always expect a varied programme of shorter, and often less-familiar works, excellent young soloists, and, most important, a tangible feeling of genuine enjoyment from the choir.

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Stars emerge: Plymouth Symphony Orchestra with Michael Petrov at Plymouth Guildhall

Most orchestral programmes include a concerto, which not only gives the players an opportunity to perform alongside some of the top names, but also can make programmes considerably more attractive in helping to fill a venue.

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Freshness and crispness of Nordic Waves recital at the Sherwell Centre, Plymouth University (review)

Nordic Waves might sound more like the name of a deodorant, but it proved the ideal title for this delightful programme of chamber music from Northern Europe,

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‘Great command and assurance’: Leland Chen with the Ten Tors Orchestra

A light and frothy performance of Mozart’s effervescent Marriage of Figaro Overture provided the perfect opener, with especially neat articulation from upper woodwind, and strings, led with usual aplomb by Mary Eade.

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Dynamic leadership permeates Ten Tors Orchestra at the Minster Church of St Andrew (review)

Strings are generally regarded as the backbone of any orchestral ensemble, and this quite superb concert by the Ten Tors Strings under conductor Simon Ible not only attested to the skill of the players, but also confirmed why the orchestra, in full rig, can make such a fine sound, too.

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