Category Archives: Classical with Philip R Buttall

St Andrew’s Lunchtime Summer Recital provides musical refreshment in a hot Plymouth

St Andrew’s Lunchtime Summer Recitals provide a welcome opportunity for anyone in the city centre to pop in, and perhaps have something to eat, as time permits. For the mainly-local recitalists involved, it can offer an eminently less-formal performance platform.

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Sublime Three Spires Singers at Truro Cathedral

There is undoubtedly a high level of expertise and humanism in Brahms’ German Requiem, but this has rarely been sufficient for it to achieve the same degree of popularity as those, for example, by Verdi, Mozart or Fauré.

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Dartington Community Choir’s celebration of Shakespeare an unmitigated success

With the title Noyses, Sounds & Sweet Aires, it wouldn’t be too difficult to guess this lovely afternoon concert was the choir’s own celebration of Shakespeare’s 400th Anniversary.

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Memory: I’ll Remember You at Plymouth University leaves a lasting impression

This unique happening involved three consecutive events, linked by the theme of memories – those of loved ones now no longer here with us.

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Outstanding Plymouth Symphony Orchestra inspire with music from the movies

Plymouth Symphony Orchestra has featured music from the movies at previous concerts. But it’s never sounded like this before.

There had been but few changes of personnel among the ranks and, as ever, conductor Anne Kimber gave her absolute all throughout.

But while a conductor can infuse music with an individual interpretation, they still need someone to communicate this to the players in more practical terms.

In Cath Smith the orchestra has now got a superb leader who not only looks after technical issues, but brings such a sense of vigour, enthusiasm and sheer enjoyment to her role, and which immediately inspires the orchestra as a whole.

This was so evident not only in the strings’ gloriously-rich rendition of Born Free, or the precision and excitement in the jagged, percussive rhythms of Pirates of the Caribbean, but also in the way it encouraged such fine woodwind solo playing on the night, and gave real confidence to the horn section, who often can appear so very exposed in this kind of writing.

Through the auspices of Plymouth Music Accord there were many young people present, who could only have been truly motivated by what they were hearing – and hopefully might even come again.

As for the rest of the large audience, two separate standing ovations said it all – a quite outstanding performance from the city’s only symphony orchestra.

PHILIP R BUTTALL

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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