Reviews

Reviews

  • ALISON BALSOM TRUMPET / TOM POSTER PIANO

    Saturday 29 October 2016

    7:30PM

    What a spectacular concert; a feast for the senses from beginning to end! Alison, in full length black slim-fitting trouser suit and silver stilettoes (perfectly coordinated with her trumpet), made the most complex and intricately rhythmic passages seem effortless, with huge long sustained notes and golden silvery tone. Occasional deep breaths and then more dazzling streams of sound. She was smiley, engaging, articulate, funny and really delighted to be playing in the WMC. What a talent. She was accompanied by Tom in perfect symbiotic harmony in a finely chosen programme – Honegger, Hindemith, Enescu and a piece of their own joint composition. This contrasted with a Schubert Impromptu displaying a profound simplicity and Tom’s absolute mastery of the keyboard.

    In the second half they were joined by Becky Smith, principal trombonist with the ENO and a friend of Alison since childhood music. Together they played the Brahms Horn Trio in E Flat Major (the horn here being substituted by trumpet) showing the empathy which can only come from shared experience. As an encore they played Gershwin's They can't take that away from me to rapturous applause. Altogether a perfect and wonderful evening.

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    Average rating: 5

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  • ENGLISH TOURING OPERA

    Sunday 23 October 2016

    7:30PM

    This was like no other performance. Led into the swirl and hum of ordinary peoples’ lives by the turbulent orchestral introduction, we were suddenly engulfed in a momentous burst of sound from the three choirs ‘Herr, unser Herrsche….’ as though a great light was to proclaim that the greatest of all Passions was now to be enacted. It was a stunning start to an extraordinary evening. The singing was given greater depth by the way the choruses and chorales were parcelled out between the different choirs, giving each the opportunity to shine, as they did. The breadth, substance, quality and control of the singing was impressive and intensely moving.

    What made the performance even more memorable was the gentle stagecraft created by members of English Touring Opera who provided the soloists and, in turns, the Evangelist. In so doing they heightened the sense of narrative and drama in a way you’d never otherwise experience. It was brilliantly underplayed choreography which, in my mind, truly captured the essence of the Passion.

    Thank you WMC.

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    Average rating: 5

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  • ENGLISH TOURING OPERA

    Sunday 23 October 2016

    7:30PM

    This was the WMC at its finest: the UK's leading touring opera company + the Old Street Band + Cantamus Chamber Choir + the new WMC community choir. The performance was engrossing, presented with profound emotion and depth, with glorious choral singing and total commitment from players and soloists. A very, very special evening.

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    Average rating: 5

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  • JEREMY DENK PIANO

    Friday 23 September 2016

    7:30PM

    Just how many fingers does he have??????

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    Average rating: 5

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  • WEST OF ENGLAND YOUTH ORCHESTRA / MATTHEW TRUSLER VIOLIN

    Friday 26 August 2016

    7:30PM

    Another appearance of this splendid orchestra in an ambitious programme, performing to a deservedly full house and conducted by Timothy Redmond. It was a larger orchestra than last time with 82 on the stage and a noticeable increase in the number of viola players providing a more comfortable balance in the string section – and four double basses. I found the sheer volume of sound in the densely orchestrated first piece – Rachmaninov’s ‘The Isle of the Dead’ – a bit difficult to cope with, but thought the quality of performance by individual sections of the orchestra in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No.1 outstanding. I hope those young people really enjoyed playing in it with the closeness and utter virtuosity of Matthew Trusler.

    Mahler Symphony No.1 occupied the second half of the concert and once again one could marvel at the ease with which the individual sections of the orchestra, one after the other, created a totally coherent flow of music. A melody appears and is then swept away as another breaks the surface. The tensions were seamless and wonderfully engaging. And eight horns, all standing up in the closing moments of the symphony. Thrilling.

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    Average rating: 5

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  • WEST OF ENGLAND YOUTH ORCHESTRA / MATTHEW TRUSLER VIOLIN

    Friday 26 August 2016

    7:30PM

    A wonderful evening, especially the Mahler symphony. I happily swap the technical perfection of a professional orchestra such as the LSO for the enthusiasm and commitment of the WEYO. Some stars of the future in WEYO's ranks? Beautiful first trumpet, lovely 'cello section; we just felt sorry for the solo double-bassist in Mahler, who's probably had better evenings?

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    Average rating: 5

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  • THE AMADEUS ORCHESTRA

    Thursday 21 July 2016

    7:30PM

    An excellent gig. Great playing and a good programme. It was lovely to hear a full orchestra too. To quote a neighbour in the audience "They can come again!"
    It might have been nice to have had a pre-concert talk about the Amadeus Orchestra organisation though.

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    Average rating: 4

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  • ALEXANDER PANFILOV PIANO

    Wednesday 27 April 2016

    1:00PM

    Thank you for such an excellent concert performance. The Mussorgsky was especially brilliant.... I found it sad that despite the incredibly low ticket price (which was most welcome for someone on a very limited income by the way) the hall wasn't full to bursting. With school/s in such close proximity - surely they could have filled those seats. More lunchtime events please.

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    Average rating: 4.5

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  • ALEXANDER PANFILOV PIANO

    Wednesday 27 April 2016

    1:00PM

    I have just been lucky enough to attend two fantastic concerts at the Wiltshire Music Centre. One was given by the Britten Sinfonia on April 23rd and featured Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27, beautifully played by the talented Mr Benjamin Grosvenor and equally beautifully executed by the orchestra - BUT the Bartok quartet movement before it and Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen after it were performed with such sustained passion, such gusto and so perfectly as to make them unforgettable.
    Another unforgettable experience was the one I had today at a lunchtime concert at the Centre where Alexander Panfilov played Debussy and then Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. He seemed to feel the latter in his Russian bones and transported us there with him. We applauded with enthusiastic bravos and got an encore but the Mussorgsky will, I suspect, continue its vibrations in many of us who will cherish its memory. Quite simply a superb performance! Thank you WMC.

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    Average rating: 4.5

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  • COURTNEY PINE / ZOE RAHMAN

    Friday 08 April 2016

    7:30PM

    Bass clarinet – the like of which I’d never seen or heard before – and piano. Courtney first on the stage, all in black, ravishing us with an extended rapid and prolonged flurry of notes, all coalescing to give a sparkling wash of continuous sound. Bass notes so deep, and some so high you wondered how. And sometimes he gave us short tufted notes as though plucking at reeds somewhere. At other times it seemed he was adding a speaking voice through the mouthpiece giving rise to strange double utterances. Then there was Zoe at the piano adding her own particular colours to the extraordinary palette displayed by Courtney.

    It was a varied programme full of extemporisation and long opportunities for Zoe to capture our attention with her own brilliance. She sat so still and upright, totally belying the complexity of her playing. Long golden hair right down to the level of the piano stool. Courtney spoke to us sometimes and finally said how conscious they were of our response to their music, feeding energy back to them, making it a rare and special event for them to be playing at the WMC.

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    Average rating: 5

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