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Get Out More..............................Concert Preview

BOURNVILLE STRING ORCHESTRA (Edgbaston High School For Girls)


Steve Beauchampé previews an evening of precocious local musical talent (and foresees a turgid struggle for England’s footballers in minnowland).

This orchestra, comprising around thirty current and former local university music students (Grade 7 or above), comes together in late summer under the direction of Selly Oak-based music teacher Lucy Akehurst and the baton of Birmingham’s Alpesh Chauhan, for it’s annual outing at the acoustically revered Octagon on Westbourne Road, one of the city’s newest (and best) performance spaces.

A fundraiser for Christian Aid and Save the Children, the programme comprises five works, covering a wide gamut of the classical spectrum.

Following the success of the Janacek’s Idyll at last year’s BSO concert, the ensemble mine the Moravian composer’s archive further by opening with his multifarious six-movement Suite for String Orchestra, guaranteed to provide something to suit most tastes.

Next up, Bartok’s Dances of Transylvania, although in three movements, is the shortest number of the evening.

One of Bartok’s lesser known works, this charismatic piece is a companion to his Romanian Dances.

Closing the first half, Telemann’s Concerto for Two Violas is an early work, and, like tonight’s Bartok score, is a fine example of how Akehurst likes to take both her charges and her audience down less familiar musical paths.

Post-interval fayre involves a brace of Serenade for Strings, first by William (father of Julian) Lloyd-Webber’s beautiful effort, replete with divided string sections, and then the better-known work by Tchaikovsky, premiered in St. Petersburg in 1881. The passionate opening movement is believed to be a tribute to Mozart, but the score later incorporates waltz and folk song, at times delicate, at times incessant and belligerent.

Probably more satisfying than watching England’s footballers labouring to a 2-0 win over Andorra.

Tickets (£10/£7.50p) will be available on the door.

Edgbaston High School For Girls, Westbourne Road, Edgbaston Saturday September 6th 2008 19:30.

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