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Live! - Culture

Sinfonietta In Concert

Dec 08 2005 15:46
Kate Sloyan
This Autumn's offering from Imperial's very own Sinfonietta
Sonfonietta performing on their tour to Vienna


The reporter reserves the right to have an opinion, to refrain from commenting on the difficulty of music she hasn?t played and to use the words ?tight?, ?energetic? and ?interesting? without molestation. She would also like to point out that, though it is possible she is not a real musician, she is Chair of two College musical societies and plays a number of instruments. Please bear this in mind before criticising said reporter.


Tuesday night gave us the second excellent orchestral performance in College in a week. Sinfonietta?s first concert of the term featured some wonderful performances of some great twentieth century music.

The concert began with On the Town: Three Dances Episodes by Leonard Bernstein. Anyone who knows this reporter well will know that the man who wrote West Side Story can do no wrong in her eyes, so it was great to hear a good performance of some of his work. For those who don?t know, On the Town follows the story of three sailors on 24 hour shore leave in New York, trying to get drunk and get the girl. The brass section was excellent, especially the trombones; really capturing the jazziness of the piece from the very beginning. While this reporter felt it took a little while for the rest of the orchestra to really get into the showy, exuberant feel of the piece, there was some lovely playing by the strings in the second movement and the third movement (?New York, New York, it?s a wonderful town??) was fantastic. Special mention should go to the clarinet, trumpet and trombones (again) for really capturing the mood.

The second piece was Shostakovich?s Piano Concerto No. 2, featuring a wonderful performance by medic and soloist Mark Peterzan. The first movement, a light hearted march, opened with some nice wind playing. Although perhaps they could have been more sympathetic in their accompaniment, there was a great deal of energy from all the orchestra that made the movement very enjoyable to listen to. Some beautiful, tender piano was a highlight in the second movement, accompanied by some sensitive string playing. The pizzicato section was on the whole pulled off well, being mostly together and surprisingly lyrical for plucked strings. The third movement featured some sparkling playing from Mark, and was a great end to the first half.

The second half gave us more Shostakovich; the Symphony No. 12 in D minor ?The Year 1917?. Commissioned as a piece of Soviet propaganda but featuring subversive musical messages from the composer, the piece is very emotional and very dramatic, a feel that the orchestra portrayed well. Although the start was a little messy, this was more than made up for by some very exciting playing, particularly from the array of percussionists that had appeared during the interval. In another string pizzicato section you could have heard a pin drop, and unfortunately a little later we did hear a mobile phone (anyone want to own up?). Luckily this interruption didn?t kill the drama, and the piece finished with a stirring ending that was a fitting end to a great evening.

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Discussion about “Sinfonietta In Concert”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Dec 08 2005 15:59

Not another one!

Dec 08 2005 16:01

Indeed, culture articles keep being written so they keep being put up on the site.

If you care to write anything else I'd be glad to publish it within reason.

Dec 08 2005 16:30

There was a time when editors used to look for news stories and follow leads, follow events and discussions of the union and not just press a few buttons.

Dec 08 2005 17:07

Yes engineer, although even editors have a finite amount of time with academic work commitments, I do accept your point.

Live! has always relied on a base of reporters writing articles. The editors have written a number of articles on various subjects this term but cannot come up with all the articles. Currently our very efficient culture editor has been ensuring as many as possible of the end of term concerts etc have been reviewed which is why there has been so many articles of that type.

However rather than random anonymous characters complaining, they are welcome to submit a motion of no confidence to the C&G Exec if they feel they can do a better job.

5. Dan   
Dec 08 2005 17:30

Maybe the editor would like to say who he is rather than hiding behind his pseudoname.

Dec 08 2005 17:39

Good evening Mr Lehman

I was not hiding behind the editor alias, however we have generally adopted the practice of officially responding to comments on behalf of Live! using that alias so as to keep our own names for times when we wish to make non-official comments or state opinions.

Dec 09 2005 09:01

Further to Duncan's post using the editor's alias is not exactly hiding. It could only be one of 2 people the names of which are freely available. The email address supplied is also valid so contacting us is not a problem.

As Duncan states, Our own names are for when we want to show our oppinion and the editor name is for when we are acting in an official capacity.

Dec 11 2005 17:23

You would probably note that due to term structure, there is less news and more culture towards the end. Its just the way things work.

Dec 12 2005 14:07

"Engineer": Yes, more concerts. I've played in 5 this week. 'tis the season. If you can track down someone who went, you could have a review of the ULSO (University of London Symphony Orchestra) Concert as well.

Would like to add that this concert saw Sinfonietta's largest audience for several years, possibly indicating that engineers are becoming more cultured...

In future, any owners of mobile phones going off in concerts will be obliged to take a bow at the end, and buy the entire orchestra a drink.

PS. The picture at the head of the article is in fact in Vienna, and was extremely cold.

10. Ruth   
Dec 12 2005 14:19

Oops, I thought it was Bratislava. Will get the editor to change the caption accordingly.

11. Editor   
Dec 12 2005 15:50

In a bout of unusual efficiency an editor has preempted Ruth's emailing and the caption has been corrected.

12. Ruth   
Dec 13 2005 11:14

oooooooooh, how efficient of you my dear...

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