Review of Eastbourne Concert Orchestra by Liz Gregory.
ENJOYING itself to the full Eastbourne’s oldest orchestra, The Eastbourne Concert Orchestra, is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee Year and the Concert - as always in the Town Hall - was just one glorious eclectic and nostalgic occasion from beginning to end.
Titled Encores & Requests and conducted by Brian Smith, it contained a myriad of items which have been enjoyed by audience and performers throughout those 60 years.
With so many titles it would be almost impossible to list all without it looking like a shopping list for Desert Island Discs.
There were outstanding performances from individual members of the orchestra. David Hills, hobbling on two sticks and unable to stand alone was gently helped to a chair by two assistants one carrying David’s French Horn.
Despite this difficult entry the audience were enthralled by David’s performance of the Allegro from the 4th Horn Concerto by Mozart.
Tim Willsome, a talented oboe player, elegant and tall, enchanted us with Gabriel’s Oboe by Morricone, theme music from the film The Mission as did Andrew Gill who played the last movement of the Rondo from Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto first performed on new Years Day 1804 to celebrate Haydn taking over as director of the Esterhazy Orchestra.
This was a fascinating and mixed programme. Each item particularly chosen by members contained such loved music as Bells Across the Meadow by Ketelby, The Entry of the Gladiators, Franz von Suppe’s Light Cavalry, The Largo from The New World Symphony by Dvorak and many others echoing the, not so very, changing tastes of Eastbourne audiences for the past 60 years.
The grand finale, quite rightly for this particular audience was a triumphant and resounding rendering of Sussex By The Sea completed by an audience singing, clapping and waving as if it were Eastbourne’s own Last Night of the Proms.