Magazine article Musical Opinion

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Aviat

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Aviat

Article excerpt

This concert by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the Bournemouth Pavilion on Remembrance Sunday, November 13, was a pleasant surprise in more ways than one. My first visit to the Pavilion Theatre demonstrated that this large, pre-war venue on the seafront has excellent acoustics (improved recently by a grant from the council); the orchestra on stage really is a splendid sight as well as giving forth demonstration-worthy sound.

Then there was the performance of a recent work, Norfolk March, by David Matthews, premiered earlier this year at the English Music Festival at Dorchester Abbey at which the acoustic was markedly inferior to that of the Pavilion Theatre. Here the new work sounded splendidly through the various phases of its journey as decided upon by Matthews, guided by the original programme note for the premiere of Vaughan Williams's Third Norfolk Rhapsody in 1907. The score was lost after a few performances and Matthews was commissioned by the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society and other funders to write a work based on what is known of the original intentions but in a way that should be wholly original to Matthews in style and substance.

He decided to open with a sound world noticeably recognisable to that of Vaughan Williams and incorporating the four folk songs mentioned in the original programme note. He cunningly avoids blatant pastiche and we enter a world of beauty and serenity of pre-war England in the manner of a march with trio known to be the form chosen for the Third Rhapsody. However at the climax he steers the work dramatically in a very different and entirely personal direction of his own. This takes the form of a dissonant and sinister funeral march where the final solo trumpet heralds the conclusive connection to Vaughan Williams's contemporary world as heard in his own A Pastoral Symphony. …

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