Review

Southbank Sinfonia

With soloists:  Tasmin Little and Philip Dukes

Returning once again for their annual visit to Marlborough College, and after an intense and joyous few days making music with the pupils at the College, Southbank Sinfonia, conducted by the celebrated Simon Over (on his birthday!) performed their own concert as part of the Marlborough College Concert Series.

Presenting a very classical repertoire with romantic influences, the programme was highly suited to all the forces involved. Opening the concert with Overture No. 2 in E-flat by Farrenc, this robust and dynamic opening to the concert was a delightful nod towards celebrating International Womens’ Day; bold harmonies and striking musical development represented her great love for Beethoven (which beautifully mirrored the second half of the programme).

Following this came the Sinfonia Concertante K.364 by Mozart. The soloists were the distinguished Tasmin Little, and our very own Philip Dukes. The Southbank Sinfonia created a bright, clean, and fresh vibrancy to the sound, which was the perfect backdrop for the soloists, whom were entirely united on a musical front. Synonymous musicality in the cadenza demonstrated a real inspiration for the pupils present.

Impassioned by nature, and delivered instinctively by the conductor and orchestra, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 ‘Pastoral’ concluded the concert. The seamless transitions between the third and fifth movements ensured an incredibly exciting narrative. Some outstanding woodwind solos and impeccable section playing for the strings presented some visionary playing.

With Arts funding receiving cuts, charitable institutions such as the Southbank Sinfonia allows graduates of some of the top global conservatoires and music colleges the opportunity to develop their skills as they make their way into some of the best orchestras in the world. A real inspiration to the pupils of the College, it is clear that with current players in the Southbank Sinfonia, the future of classical music in this country is incredibly bright.

Adam Meehan-Staines
Choirmaster & Academic Music Teacher