Frampton Church Boston Sinfonia review(March 24, 2012)
On Saturday, in Frampton Church, Boston Sinfonia made a fine start to their evening with Beethoven’s Leonora no. 3, a failed overture for his opera, but a brilliant symphonic piece in its own right. The music carries all those emotions associated with his only opera’s story – oppression, firm resolve, growing hope and finally the joy of deliverance - in purely musical terms. The solo, offstage trumpet call is a splendid touch that never fails in the way it interrupts. It was clear from the programme note he had written and in his demeanour in the event, that Nigel Morley conducting, identifies with Beethoven’s ideals expressed in this work. He and the orchestra were really connected in their endeavour.
Another fanfare- this time on the horn, begins the first Horn Concerto by Richard Strauss. The soloist Sue Shortland, unassuming and diminutive, produces a most beautiful mellow tone and her performance was very well received, not only by the audience but also the orchestra. As well as pursuing a busy and varied musical career Sue plays regularly with the Sinfonia.
Lastly came the perfect piece for the present wonderful weather - Schumann’s Spring Symphony. Fanfares again – these to herald in the season. Even trombones, so often associated with gloom, are a part of this joyous music, written rapidly in winter and first performed in March 1841. The brass and woodwind deserve special mention; the delightful touches such as the little flute cadenza in the last movement came off beautifully. This was an uplifting end to the evening.