This year’s Lent Concert started with a big bang by the Big Band playing How High the Moon. Although the altitude of the moon was not directly revealed by their playing, by the time this peaceful and captivating piece reached its conclusion nobody would question how high the level of musicianship was. After looking at the elevation of the moon, we turned to look at the expanse of the deep blue sea, illustrated by their second piece Beyond the Sea. The Band ended their performance with Sing, Sing, Sing, and as the third ‘sing’ came to a conclusion, so was their final piece for the night.
The Concert Band, led by the one and only Steve Dummer, started with the French Bourée des Masques, then came back to England with the Suite of English Folk Dances, Dick’s Maggot, Hunt the Squirrel, and lastly, Woodicock. The Concert Band played another green-themed piece before their departure, Shepherd’s Hey.
The concert reached even greater heights with the most prestigious quintet formed by violinists Seung-Youn H and Nima S, violists Sophie W and Cecily M, and cellist Rosanna W, who performed Quintet in G minor K 516 by Mozart. The five showed us what music truly meant. Rosanna also performed as solo in The Singer by Michael Head. Her beautiful performance gave an impression of what the true meaning of the song was. The lyrics were joyous, however the tune was full of sorrow.
The Chamber Orchestra followed, directed by Dr Morgan-Williams, with three movements from Bach’s Orchestral Suite No 3 in D major. Numerous instruments played in unison but the music was surprisingly soft, enchanting the audience with a peaceful lullaby. The calm atmosphere blended with the interesting use of the harpsichord, adding an element of uniqueness to the piece. Mozart’s Andante in C followed, showcasing Lucy H’s flute; the pure, ethereal and rich sound, supported by strings, harpsichord and woodwind instruments, proved to be just as relaxing as the previous piece.
To close, we had the finale from the Symphony Orchestra, firstly playing David Bedford OL’s Crowned with the Grace of Years, commissioned by the College in 2011 and performed here in what would have been his 80th year. Strauss’ Concerto No 1 for Horn and Orchestra Op 11 followed, with the horn solo by Zac H, its strong and solid sound reverberating through the whole of Great School. Lastly, we had Bizet’s L’Arlesienne Suites, the perfect conclusion to the concert. The lively melody progressively got faster and faster as the piece went on, tempting the audience to dance with the tune. Brass and percussion instruments were gradually added, making the texture even richer.
The penultimate week of the Lent Term ended on a high note as the concert came to an end. Whether it was a fast paced, exhilarating piece, or a tranquil and lento one, they were all undoubtedly very enjoyable, and we look forward to many more performances to come.
Florence L, Alex L and Daniel T, Fourth Form