Chichester Cathedral is in one sense a testimony to art from across the ages, from the immovable castle-like Norman towers of the West End, to 20th century masterpieces by Graham Sutherland, Marc Chagall and others scattered inside. What better place to enjoy the accomplished music-making of the Chamber Orchestra, directed by Head of Strings, Mrs Emily Marsden, and led by Deputy Grecian (Year 12) George on 5 February 2019?
The programme opened with the Vivace from Bach’s Double Violin Concerto BWV 1043, led from the front with confidence by soloists George and Francesca (DG / Year 12). Along with the accompanying instruments’ impressive attention to the baroque detail, the fearless tempo and dramatic interplay between soloists kept the audience of around 500 – who filled the entire nave and even seeped into the side aisles and quire – on the edge of their seats. Francesca and Molly (GE / Year 11), soloists in the famous Largo which followed, negotiated Bach’s long phrases with a striking eloquence.
Rigorous counterpoint was balanced by romantic sentimentality in the form of Bizet’s Flower Song. The concert finished with Holst’s St. Paul’s Suite, op. 29, no. 2. The first movement, Jig, certainly danced around Chichester’s Norman arcades, whilst George brought an appropriately wistful quality to the pastoral solo of the Intermezzo.
Congratulations to all the members of the Chamber Orchestra for representing music at CH with such distinction. Thanks to Emily Marsden for her leadership, and the team of string teachers who helped to prepare the pupils so thoroughly. A very proud occasion for all concerned.
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