Yet another wonderful WMC occasion marked especially by the performance of two pieces arranged for strings. Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata for solo viola, arranged by Dobrinka Tabakova and played by Clare Finnimore and Bach’s Goldberg Variations arranged by Dmitry Sitkovetsky. These were preceded by the brightness and confidence of a Concerto Grosso by Locatelli and a beautiful contemplative piece, Summa, by Arvo Pärt.


The sound, balance and ensemble playing of this unconducted orchestra of twenty players under the direction of Thomas Gould, was gorgeous. So, there was a unity and musical drive within the two arranged pieces that made them totally unique, believable and authentic.  Clare’s playing of the Schubert within the forest of strings was a delight, and on the most beautifully sonorous instrument.


The sustaining quality of the few instruments announcing the Goldberg theme, led me into a completely new world which was then wonderfully enriched by the sheer variety of texture.  And where this thinned down to one voice per part we could marvel not only at the music but also at the virtuosity of the players.


Surely, as an audience, we must have been caught up within the collective focus and concentration of this orchestra. It was life enhancing.


By Antony Corfe