Last night the YWO played at the May Festival in St. John's Church Ranmoor. They coped very well with the environment, using the space very well.
There were problems to overcome; not least the cold and the absence of a first trombone due to traffic problems. The cold gave the flutes problems due to their positioning and the fact that they had to fight to stay in tune. The intonation was never horrible but at times it was not totally pure.
Rob Fisher covered the trombone parts extremely well and he is a powerful yet subtle player who is a real asset to any group.
The soloists in the group played very well. I should mention names but what if I forgot someone?
Credit should go to Brian for the incredible top A which was played for musicallity and not just safety. Jayne for making the instrument talk. Phil for being largely super human, Anne and Kate for working so hard to get on top of the parts, all the principals who led their sections in ensemble and gave them security. Oh and anyone else who thinks they should have been mentioned.
We played at times with the flair that the YWO is famous for and I can't remember having that feeling of musical confidence in any concert for quite a while. The group was a joy to conduct and at times was musically tight, disciplined, well rehearsed and professional. It is early days yet in the rebirth of this group but the magic is still there. There were moments of lesser quality, particularly towards the end when fatigue and circumstances caught up with some of the players; a midweek concert after a long day's work and a rush hour drive can all be factors.
What would I have liked to improve? Well, in that space I never felt like we could produce a real spine tingling "pp" as even the slightest sound seemed loud in there. Tiny moments of accuracy needed improvement but very few. The placement of the percussion section made the bass drum seem as if it was the size of a transit van and everything seemed to ring on into the silences. This is just picking faults though and to be fair this has to go down as an excellent concert. Well done to all!
Amanda and John must have felt that their efforts had been rewarded. The audience was not huge but that is par for the course with an adult orchestra we will certainly build up a following with performances like that.
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