LIVE REVIEW: Todmorden Summer Orchestra – St Mary’s Church, Todmorden – 31st August 2019

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Members of Todmorden Orchestra still in town joined together for this extra concert, a fundraiser for Nyabitocho parish, Tanzania. They were mainly string players. Antony Brannick was conductor and Andrew Rostrom leader.

A varied programme featured Bach, Mozart and Handel, whose Concerto Grosso in G major opened the programme. There was some uncertainty here but this improved later. Next came a lovely slow melody by Tchaikovsky, the Andante cantabile from string quartet no 1 arranged for orchestra. Soloist Daniel Bath featured on harpsichord in Bach’s keyboard concerto in G minor. Unfortunately his fine playing was somewhat overpowered by the orchestra.

Mozart’s graceful Divertimento in D major followed, and then came Grieg’s two elegiac melodies, “Heart’s wound” and the beautiful “Last spring”. Finally Rutter’s “Suite for strings” provided an apt and lively finish. Like other British composers, he used folk melodies, beginning with “A-roving” and finishing with “Dashing away with the smoothing iron”.