Heart and talent put into orchestra’s final concert of the year

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WITH just a few weeks to go before the onset of their 60th Anniversary year Eastbourne’s very own and oldest Orchestra put all their heart and talent into the final concert of 2010.

The eclectic programme brought in some old favourites as well as including some interesting music from a half-forgotten 18th Century Italian, a better known German also from the 18th century and a well loved 20th century composer of light music.

It began, as always, with a resounding version of the National Anthem.

Nicola Piccini (not to be confused with Puccini) was born in 1778 and died in 1800.

He was a prolific composer with 139 operas to his credit none of which alas have survived.

Of the few remaining pieces published the overture to “Didone” is unusual with three movements, a brisk allegro to start with, a delightful slow movement with an oboe solo of great beauty and an extraordinary final allegro so well pace and timed that one could wish it to last several minutes longer.

Handel’s Water Music Suite, an old favourite, kept us happy until the highlight of the evening.

Von Weber’s Bassoon Concerto Op 75 in F played by visiting celebrity Joanna Graham.

Well known in musical circles Joanna plays for the London Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestras as well as working seasons at Glyndebourne, travelling the world with her Bassoon and living in Lewes.

It was delightfully easy to listen to her and a privilege for the orchestra.

I mentioned an English Composer from the 20th Century and who better to enchant us on a cold winter’s night than Eric Coates?

For those of old enough to remember it tunes of In Town Tonight and the BBC Home Service were mingled with the performance of The Three Elizabeths,

Elizabeth Tudor, Elizabeth of Glamis and Princess Elizabeth.

The orchestra gave these nostalgic pieces their best possible backing and the evening ended with a tumultuous mixture of carols.

Liz Gregory