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Welcome Return to QKA

Liz Noble

After Remembrance Sunday traditions, services and ceremony in the morning, it was a great pleasure to complete the day by returning to QKA for the CPSO Autumn concert.

The pastoral themed concert began with the very Scottish Land of the Mountain and the Flood by Hamish MacCunn. A favourite from Classic FM, it was presented with confidence and certainly painted the Scottish landscapes with rhythms called Scotch Snaps, all ending in a final climax. A very welcoming start to the programme.

Frederick Delius also painted nature, but more impressionistically. The two works for small orchestra, On hearing the first cuckoo in Spring and A summer Night on the River, are deceptively difficult to pull off. Lyrical yes, with delightful woodwind intertwining with strings. For me sometimes seemingly losing its way, without much substance but pleasant and relaxing nonetheless.

However Gustavo Holst’s confident St Paul’s Suite was striking, full of varied timings, pizzicato strings and dance rhythms, all well received by the large audience. The intermezzo gave the opportunity for several excellent string solos above the pizzicato strings. The vibrant Finale with the melodious Greensleeves over the top of the strong rhythms brought the first half to a close.

Before the second half began Graham Healey (Treasurer of the orchestra) took the opportunity to acknowledge Janet and Clive Frusher for their support for over ten years on the Friends of CPSO committee and Janet was presented with some lovely flowers. It was a fitting well deserved tribute and who can forget Janet’s quizzes raising funds for the orchestra each year.

Beethoven rounded off a very successful return to QKA with No.6 Symphony, the Pastoral. Congratulations to Pippa Wilson for all the bird song on the flute as she stepped in at the last minute for Deirdre who sadly went down with Covid. The orchestra again showed a strong confident bond. Some of the tricky counter rhythms were difficult to handle but the well known melodies came through loud and clear and the brewing storm in the Scherzo came to a satisfactory climax, plus a little embarrassment for the young timpanist who lost a stick across the floor! A light hearted interlude covered up very well and no harm done.

The enlarged orchestra gave an excellent performance - thank you for an enjoyable afternoon and look forward to the Rachmaninov in March.


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