Thursday, July 18

A 21st Anniversary Concert – Worthing Symphony Orchestra, Jennifer Pike (violin) John Gibbons (conductor)

- February 8, 2019

Twenty-one years as Principal Conductor generate plenty of trust, authority and power. Gibbons, helped by the fine acoustics, can summon vast sounds from his players but critically his unaffected conducting always keeps the focus on the score and the composers’ intent.

He has reconstructed an exciting suite ‘Heroes of Telemark’ by painstakingly transcribing Malcolm Arnold’s orchestration from the original 1965 film sound-track, note by note, chord by chord, crash by bang and even the extraordinary tongue-in-cheek climax. It splendidly showcases WSO’s ability, the composer’s genius and Gibbons’ own musicality. The evening’s concerto too was loaded with film themes by Erich Korngold, that master of romantic cinema sound, interpreted with relish and panache by Jennifer Pike.

After the Intermission came a finely crafted concert overture from John Williams’ film score for ‘E.T. – Adventures on Earth’. Somehow the local sea-side orchestra miraculously sounded as lush as a Hollywood studio band twice the size. They followed this with a full-blooded performance of Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony, a magnificent way to celebrate 21 years together.

Assembly Hall, Worthing, 7 February 2019
Rating: ★★★★½
Andrew Connal

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