Simon Ible & Leland Chen

Electrifying swansong for Ten Tors Orchestra in Tavistock

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While this year’s annual Ten Tors expedition will be taking place once more in a couple of months, the orchestra that proudly bore the same name since 1998 has now given its final concert back in the same Dartmoor town where it started.

Tavistock Parish Church provided the ideal setting and acoustic for the event, and the packed audience was presented with an absolute treat of popular classics.

Opening with Beethoven’s imposing Egmont Overture, from the very first bars the extra resources marshalled for the orchestra’s swansong made a telling impression under the confident leadership of Mary Eade, where the unbridled excitement generated in the fast closing-section was simply electrifying.

Taiwanese violinist Leland Chen then proved the perfect protagonist in Bruch’s gloriously nostalgic Violin Concerto No 1. The opening movement had tremendous poise, and the much-loved slow movement was full of heartfelt emotion, yet never merely just sentimental. The gypsy-like nature of the finale ensured that the work ended on a real high.

Ten Tors Orchestra always excelled in Haydn symphonies, so it was the perfect choice to end with his London Symphony, the composer’s last.

The past twenty years have been a real team effort, from players, trustees, fund-raisers, supporters, stage-crew, and, of course, conductor Simon Ible, without whose inspiration the city would have been very much the poorer in terms of the provision of quality symphonic music.

PHILIP R BUTTALL