Friday 2nd December saw the first Imperial College Symphony Orchestra concert of the term. Although tinged with sadness by the recent death of former member Jasmine Anandarajah, in whose memory the concert was performed, the night featured some beautiful music and stunning performances.
The concert opened with Mark Jutton?s Celebration and Meditation, written in memory of Jasmine. Scored for brass and percussion, this interesting piece gave ten of Imperial?s impressive array of brass players the chance to shine. Although the performance was perhaps not as tight in some places as it could be, this was more than made up for by some very sensitive playing.
Next was Javelin, written by Michael Torke for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Despite (I am told) the piece being quite difficult, it was exciting and featured some very nice woodwind playing. There was a great sense of energy, although this was taken a little too far by some of the aforementioned brass players, whose sound was a little overwhelming at times.
The third piece in the first half was a wonderful rendition of Prokofiev?s Violin Concerto No. 1, featuring a magnificent performance by soloist and third year Aeronautics student Michal Cwizewicz. Starting and finishing with a haunting violin melody and featuring some stunning musical acrobatics in the second movement, the piece was both exciting and beautiful. Although in places the orchestra could have been a little more sympathetic in accompanying the soloist, the performance overall was excellent.
After the interval the orchestra moved on to probably the most famous of the evening?s works, Symphony No. 3 (?Organ?) by Saint-Sa?ns. After a slightly ragged start, the orchestra soon settled down. The first movement included some lovely lyrical string playing, the second had a great sense of drama and featured the beautiful theme that many may recognise (shamefully or not, you decide) as the theme from ?Babe?. The whole piece built up to a great climax, and was a fitting end to what was in this reporter's opinion a thoroughly enjoyable evening.