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Review: Sinfonia Viva with Thomas Gould (violin)
Assembly Rooms, Derby - Wednesday 21st April 2010
With Sinfonia Viva's Principal Conductor André de Ridder stranded in Germany, his predecessor, now the orchestra's Principal Guest Conductor, Nicholas Kok stepped in at a few days' notice for a feast of mainly baroque goodies.
After a crisp account of the Sinfonia to Vivaldi's opera L'Olimpiade came the first of two short pieces by Emily Hall, the latest contributor to Viva's Orchestra Shorts series. Like its partner, Concerning Franklin is based on the traditional tune 'Lord Franklin'. A gentle, hypnotic piece, it included parts for two recorders, more of whom later. Chords from various offered a somewhat darker, more intense kind of tranquillity
In between, JS Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No.3 got a light, airy performance, qualities that also characterised a reading of the G minor Violin Concerto reconstructed from Bach's Harpsichord Concerto in F minor, BWV 1056, with soloist Thomas Gould. The central Largo was played with breathtaking poise.
After the interval Thomas Gould returned to direct a performance of Piazzolla's Four Seasons in Buenos Aires, with a fine grasp of the music's soulful moodiness and incisive rhythms.
Finally Nicholas Kok returned to conduct Telemann's Suite in C, variously known as his Water Overture and Hamburg Ebb and Flow. In the ten short movements, the playing moved effortlessly from spirited vigour to gracious poise and back, with the recorders making their own delightful contributions to the orchestral sound.
Review by Mike Wheeler