Norwich Philharomic review: Conductor Matthew Andrew’s reading was expressive with many fine orchestral solos

St Andrews / St Andrew's Hall. generic road / traffic / pedestrian areaPHOTO: ANTONY KELLYCOPY:FOR:E

St Andrews / St Andrew's Hall. generic road / traffic / pedestrian areaPHOTO: ANTONY KELLYCOPY:FOR:EDP NEWS© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2009 (01603 772434) - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

Review of the Norwich Philharmoic at St Andrew's Hall in Norwich.

Saturday's concert was a tribute to the Armistice Centenary, with both chorus and orchestra performing music with associations to the war.

Conductor, Matthew Andrews drew sensitive playing from the orchestra in Butterworth's evocative portrait of pre-war rural England, A Shropshire Lad.

Vaughan Williams 3rd symphony The Pastoral, its quiet contemplative music reflecting the composer's personal experience of the war, is not easy to bring off, yet Andrew's reading was expressive, with many fine orchestral solos, notably trumpet and horn, and with the off stage soprano cantilena beautifully sung by Catherine May.

Choral music after the interval, with David Dunnett conducting the choir who were on tremendous form in Vaughan Williams Lord, Thou hast been our refuge.

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Finally. Elgar's The Spirit of England, with Catherine May once again the superb soprano soloist. This is Elgar's last choral work, now seldom heard, yet, in this splendid performance sounding like Elgar at his finest.

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