Due to health reasons, the ‘Father of TSO’, Ron Walker, was unable to take the rostrum for ‘A Summer Concert’ by Tayside Symphony Orchestra.
A very warm welcome was extended to assistant conductor Andrew McGarva.
Prior to his appointment as depute head of the prep school and director of music at Kilgraston School, he was head of music in the British School in Tokyo and a former conductor of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra.
The concert opened with Rossini’s overture ‘Il Signor Bruschino’ from the opera of the same title. It is a vivacious and fast moving musical comedy and the second violins brilliantly obeyed the musical score which instructed them to tap their bows on their music stands. The performance was certainly light-hearted and energetic.
There followed the rapturous and ecstatic Adagio from ‘Spartacus’ by Khachaturian, which achieved fame in the 1970s as the theme for the television serial, ‘Onedin Line.’ The melody is the most memorable in the entire ballet and was beautifully played by the orchestra.
The final piece in the first half of the programme was the Overture to another ballet, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by Tchaikovsky. The four families of the orchestra demonstrated their skills and musicianship, particularly in the melodic interactions within and between sections. This built up to a powerful yet emotional ending from the full orchestra, a truly spirited performance.
The second part of the evening was devoted to one of the finest works in the orchestral repertoire, Dvorak’s ‘Cello Concerto’. The soloist was Matthias Feile. The work required a lot of technical ability and this was amply demonstrated by the soloist. The orchestra provided the right support to the cellist who gave an outstanding virtuoso performance. Andrew McGarva ably demonstrated his musical skill, showing a confident leadership of the orchestra. With such talent and expertise, Andrew’s return to the rostrum, in the future, is eagerly anticipated. PWC.