Review; Scarborough Symphony Orchestra at Queen Street Methodist Central Hall

editorial image

Players and audience gathered at Queen St Central Hall for the penultimate concert of the Scarborough Symphony Orchestra’s season.

It was an ambitious programme, with two of the three items being ‘firsts’.

Bach’s C Minor Passacaglia had had a make-over from Paul Wilson, a member of the orchestra, whose piece ‘fig.j’ the orchestra performed in 2015.

Paul gave the piece, originally for organ, a full-orchestra treatment, featuring the woodwind and percussion sections extensively; it underlined well the intricate contrapuntal lines.

This was followed by Pauer’s Concerto for French Horn – a double first, being the first UK performance of the work and the first time a Scarborough Symphony Orchestra concert had included a horn concerto.

Soloist Ben Goldscheider was the winner in the brass section of the BBC Young Musician competition in 2016, (the same year in which recent saxophone soloist Jess Gillam made her mark).

Ben played with supreme confidence throughout this challenging work, written while Czechoslovakia was under Soviet control.

The first movement could indeed have represented the struggle of the proletariat, while the second had some lovely quiet moments, and both orchestra and soloist, guided by Shaun Matthew’s ever-clear baton, coped superbly with the complex Czech-influenced rhythms of the final movement.

It was a memorable performance from the young horn-player, forecast to be headed for a stellar career; the audience’s response said it all!

Tchaikovsky’s well-known 4th symphony formed the second half of the concert; excellent solo work throughout from individual players, and Shaun whipped the orchestra through the last movement at a positively furious pace.

A great evening: hats off to all, especially to the augmented percussion section, who coped unflinchingly with the demands of Pauer, Bach/Wilson and Tchaikovsky.

The next concert is at Queen Street on July 14.