25th Anniversary Concert Success

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Categories: Concerts, Press Releases
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Published on: June 22, 2018

Press Release: Summer 2015 Concert

by rob
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Published on: September 16, 2015

Summer Concert at Newland Church, Saturday 4th July 2015

It could have been disaster for the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra at its summer concert at Newland church. The opening piece was Smetana’s Vltava, an atmospheric work which relies heavily on percussion for the more dramatic parts. Unfortunately there was no percussionist available, but to save the night the Reverend Sarah Bick, who is the vicar in charge of five other parish churches as well as Newland, bravely stepped in to play cymbals and triangle quite faultlessly. Sarah is an experienced all round musician, as singer, pianist, cellist and percussionist, just the sort of person you need on hand when cymbals need clashing and triangles need striking.

Vltava was an ambitious choice by musical director Jack Lovell, but the Orchestra carried it off quite superbly. The piece is a symphonic poem to the river of the same name, and was a romantic anthem without words to Czech nationalism. Jack delicately steered the orchestra through the mountain springs, forests, meadows, riverside villages and rocks of Bohemia, as depicted by the music.

The Orchestra’s close partnership with the Birmingham Conservatoire has provided a series of fine soloists for its concerts, and following in this tradition, Philippa (correct) Green was the star performer in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. Philippa, graduate of the Conservatoire, enjoys a busy and varied career that takes in opera, musicals, pop, and chamber music as well as virtuoso violin performances such as the Mendelssohn masterpiece. She had only one opportunity to rehearse with the Orchestra before the concert, but it was a dazzling performance of fiendishly difficult piece, full of wit and confidence, well backed up by the Orchestra, with subtle unspoken communication between conductor and soloist to keep things moving smoothly.

The programme finished with another Czech symphony, Dvorak’s New World (No 9), composed in a late 19th century exile in America, in which the composer introduces some echoes of contemporary American popular music to this Bohemian rhapsody. The thrilling last movement of this great work was a fine ending to another well attended, well performed and well balanced musical evening at Newland.

The Orchestra’s next concert is on 5th December at Coleford Baptist Church and the programme includes The Nutcracker, by Tchaikovsky, and other festive favourites.

Dave Kent

Summer 2015 – Press Release

by rob
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Published on: July 2, 2015

The Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra is promising to pluck at your heart strings on Saturday (July 4) – with Mendelssohn’s masterpiece Violin Concerto played by talented Pip Green, Smetana’s Vltava and Dvorak’s New World Symphony.

Staged in the beautiful historic setting of the Cathedral of the Forest at Newland with conductor Jack Lovell at the helm, the concert starts at 7.30pm, tickets on the door are £8 (concessions £6). Children free.

Retiring collection for Forest Talk, the talking newspaper charity based in Cinderford.

Parking available at Rookery Farm, near Laundry Lane. Passengers can be dropped at the church because of the walk up the hill. (Gates locked at 10.30pm).

RDFO rehearse with Pip Green summer 2015
Pip Green joins RFDO for a pre-concert rehearsal

Press Release: Spring 2015 Concert Review

by rob
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Published on: April 13, 2015

Best attended concert in the orchestra’s 22-year history

The reputation of our local symphony orchestra is clearly increasing, as this was perhaps the best attended concert in the orchestra’s 22-year history.

St Peters Church, Newnham, was packed for an interesting selection of mainly Mozart, with some rather lovely Elgar melodies as an introduction. The two Elgar ‘Chansons’, de matin and de nuit, sympathetically conducted by Jack Lovell, made a flowing and lyrical start to the evening. Jack Lovell has now clearly stepped out of the great shadow of his illustrious predecessor, Thomas Payne, to stamp his own personality on the orchestra.

Jack LovellThomas was flamboyant, exuberant and expressive; Jack is more understated, precise, cerebral and fluid, a combination of attributes that works well with an orchestra which is always seeking to extend its repertoire and seek new challenges.

The first Mozart piece was a bassoon concerto with guest soloist Richard Tatton, another alumnus of the Birmingham Conservatoire, which has had a long and productive artistic connection with the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra. A succession of fine soloists has
provided some great musical occasions over the years, and the orchestra provides support for
these distinguished guests.

The second Mozart piece, the finale, his 40th symphony, a thrilling and profound symphony,
was given full value by the musicians.

I’m already looking forward to the next concert, on July 4 at Newland Church, with Smetana
making his first appearance with the orchestra, another brilliant soloist performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, and Dvorak’s New World.

Dave Kent – the forester (16th April 2015).

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Important Dates
  • Saturday March 21 2020 7.30pm: Spring Concert at Newnham Church
  • Saturday July 4 2020 7.30pm: Summer Concert at Newland Church
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