Spring 2019 Concert Review

by rob
Categories: Press Releases
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Published on: April 4, 2019

Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra

Concert at St Peter’s Church, Newnham, Saturday 30th March 2019

The Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra were on top form on Saturday, with a new musical director who is bringing the best out of the players, a varied and challenging programme, and a local clarinet soloist who gave an outstanding performance in what was the highlight of a great evening, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A major.

The first item was Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, an expressive and positively unmournful tribute in four parts to French victims of the First World War. The piece is underlaid with traditional folk dance music, and was a fitting introduction to the well-loved Mozart Clarinet Concerto, which may be more familiar to Forest Brass Band musicians as the basis of the popular brass piece ‘Stay with me till morning’. The Orchestra always secures a brilliant soloist for its concerts, and this time it was Christopher Gibbons of Yorkley Wood, who is a fine all-round musician, as teacher and conductor, and a freelance performer who has played at concerts throughout the UK and Europe.

He had only one opportunity to rehearse with the Orchestra before the concert, but you wouldn’t have known as there was a great rapport between orchestra, conductor and soloist, and this performance was something very special.

After the interval Delius’s famous Cuckoo emerged in a spring evening to entertain the audience, and the final piece was another orchestral delight, Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony, a fiendishly difficult work which was carried off with verve and confidence by a fine local orchestra.

I have been following the RFODO for 25 years now, from the uncertain days of the nineties to now when they have become a significant regional orchestra. The journey has been driven by a series of passionate and sympathetic musical directors, and the current incumbent, Stefano Boccacci, is taking the orchestra to an even higher level. I think that this was the Orchestra’s best ever concert.

Dave Kent

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Important Dates
  • Saturday Dec 8th 3pm: Christmas Children’s Concert at Coleford Baptist Church
  • Saturday March 21st 7.30pm: Spring Concert at Newnham Church
  • Saturday July 4th 7.30pm: Summer Concert at Newland Church
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