Professionalism Shines Through

Review by John Sherlock
31 March 2019
The Capitol, Horsham

Conductor: Steve Dummer
Leader: Rachel Ellis
Double Bass Soloist: Will Duerden

Verdi: Overture to La Forza del Destino
Tubin: Double Bass Concerto (Soloist: Will Duerden)
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 Op. 36

When a local orchestra assembles on stage you can tell a lot about the music you’re about to hear. The Horsham Symphony Orchestra players exude professionalism, and as the brass fanfare announced the beginning of Verdi’s Overture to La Forza del Destino we knew that, even though it was the orchestra’s second concert this term, we were in for an evening of well-played music. That haunting woodwind melody will be with us for a long time!

Professionalism was also the hallmark of Will Duerden’s performance of the Tubin Double Bass concerto. A work unfamiliar to many, it’s hard not to fall in love with this piece with its jaunty tunes and delightful writing for the clarinets, the bass clarinet getting a rare starring role. Will (a former member of HSO, a BBC Young Musician finalist, and already a world-class instrumentalist) transfixed us with his virtuosity and musicality, and the orchestra accompanied him rhythmically and skilfully.

After the interval, we were once again fanfared into Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. This piece was certainly going to weed out the nervous – there are so many tricky notes and tempo changes. But once again professionalism shone through and HSO gave us an edge-of-the-seat performance of this massive work.

When it was all over, one audience member said “who needs to go to London to hear great music?” Who indeed, with such talent on our doorstep?

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