Bold efforts in chilly Leamington concert

Leamington Sinfonia, Holy Trinity church, Leamington, December 1.

AS winds from Russia dropped temperatures in Leamington, Sinfonia continued their ambitious programming with works by two Russians – Borodin and Glazunov, both born in St Petersburg.

French horns in the hands of Rebecca Grier and Martin Eyles excelled in Weber’s Overture to Euryanthe, with conductor Jenny Barrie leading matters to a lively climax. Remarkably, she has completed 28 years in charge and, somewhat reluctantly, is now making plans to hand on the baton after the concert at Kingsley School on Saturday March 2, featuring Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with Simon Ballard and Schumann’s Rhenish Symphony – she deserves a full house that night.

Borodin’s First Symphony is a mammoth work and fully stretched the Sinfonia skills. With a cello section depleted through illness, it was left to Edward Boothroyd to galvanise the violin sections and Alex Morris and John Cullington to fire up the wind section.

Glazunov wrote the music for his ballet The Seasons in 1899, inviting Marius Petipa to provide the choreography. The music demonstrates Glazunov’s talent for orchestral colour and gift for melody. Flute interventions by Alison Grundy and Rachel Misson sparkled in Winter, gorgeous sounds from Jenny Broome’s harp lifted spirits in Spring. Throughout Autumn’s harvest celebrations, the fear of the onset of Winter returned.

Another very bold Leamington Sinfonia effort.

Clive Peacock