REVIEW by Gerry Philp

Chipping Sodbury Music Society Platinum Anniversary Gala Concert

AN AUDIENCE of over 100 welcomed the return of the Amadeus Orchestra, under its Director Philip Mackenzie and ably led by Madeleine Pickering, to celebrate the 70th birthday of the Chipping Sodbury Music Society.

What an enjoyable October concert it proved to be.

Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba is a work that many orchestras rush through. The Amadeus by contrast took a relaxed tempo with pointed rhythms and excellent balance between woodwind and strings.

Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto was his final major instrumental work before his untimely death. Claire King, the talented soloist, gave a lively account of the first movement with firm tone projection and secure intonation.

The sublime slow movement received a truly rapt performance with the air of resignation and sadness perfectly captured. An excellent rapport between soloist and orchestra ensured a rousing finale.

The final piece Handel’s Water Music included both familiar and unfamiliar items. Initially the louder fanfare moments revealed the lack of weight of a larger orchestra.

However the ear quickly compensated and the reduced forces of the Amadeus paid handsome dividends with greater clarity and sensitivity. The brass challenges were bravely surmounted and King George the First would have been well satisfied with this performance.

The evening ended with many curtain calls and an exhilarating encore of well known Scottish airs in the manner of Mozart. As ever the Amadeus had excelled itself and given the Music Society a memorable 70th birthday present.

The Society now looks forward to a recital by Luba Tunnicliffe and Edward Liddall, a viola/piano duo supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, on Tuesday, November 14.

There will be another celebration on Tuesday, December 5 when Joglaresa will be on stage with “Make We Mirth!”

Don't miss this internationally acclaimed folk and world music group blowing the dust off medieval song and romping through Christmas Past with no mirth control.

  • Tickets for both events, which start at 7.30pm in Chipping Sodbury Town Hall, can be purchased from the delightful gift shop, Cadeaux & Co in Hatherell’s Yard or from or from the Box Office on 01454 31574.