A pleasing review of our concert at the Brighton Music
Festival in 2001
The Cambridge Guitar Orchestra gave an impressive
programme to one of the largest audiences I've seen for a long time, at
St Nicholas Church, just up the hill from the beach.
But let's rewind....Back in the Church, the Concert
opened with the 19-strong Orchestra playing a suite of Renaissance
Dances by Attaignant.
The Orchestra has one requinto and 2 basses, and the
sound was mellow.
Andrew York's 9-part Attic was next, and the soft discords rippled
gloriously in the reverberant church.
Corelli's Concerto Grosso Number 3 was beautifully
played, with the 16 players in the "orchestra" supporting and never
clouding the 3 "soloists". Of course, the similarities of tone colour
between the solos and the accompaniments made this piece a little less
effective than the original would have been.
Three pieces from Ravel's Ma Mere l'Oye came next, and
very effective these were indeed...They closed the first half with
Eriksson's arrangement of Piazzolla's Adios Nonino, and I detected a
very different style of arranging from Peter Rueffer's own; Eriksson
made good use of the tenor section to carry a warm set of phrases that
were underneath the accompanying chords, and it proved very effective.
The second half saw the CGO play Debussy's La Soiree
dans Grenade and conclude with Branco Styosin's "So Lovely". Stoysin is
a jazz guitarist, living about 5 miles from where I used to live, and
the piece begins with a 7/4 section in harmonics. This piece is a
trademark piece of the CGO they received a personal copy of the music,
and it's on the two tapes of them that I have. A super piece!
Of course, since I'm involved with the Hampshire Guitar
Orchestra, it was a busman's holiday for me to hear another Orchestra
up close, but they are good. The CGO are very good! Their tone was
quite unlike any other ensemble I've heard.