Concert Report – Saturday, 5 October, 2019

The Solent Concert Orchestra recently gave a concert entitled ‘Popular Music Through the Ages’ at Cornerstone Hythe United Reformed Church. It took the form of a musical journey spanning nearly nine-hundred years and was guided by the orchestra’s conductor and musical director Simon Wilkins.

The evening started with the haunting and mysterious ‘O Vis Aeternitatis’ composed by Hildegard of Bingen in 1140 which conjured up images of misty monasteries and convents long since lost in the mists of time and featured Andrew Row playing a little-known instrument of the time called a nickelharpa. We then moved on to Tudor England and King Henry VIII’s ‘Pastyme with Good Companye’. Both pieces were arranged by Simon Wilkins.

The journey continued through the baroque period with extracts from Charpentier’s ‘Te Deum’ and Handel’s ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’ overture arranged by the orchestra’s Tony Kitcherside. This was followed by pieces from Mozart’s ‘Eine Kleine Nacht Musik’, Schubert’s ‘March Militaire’, Tchaikovsky’s ‘Swan Lake’ and the spectral ‘Danse Macabre’ by Saint-Saens.

The second half started at the beginning of the 20th century with Franz Lehar’s ‘Gold and Silver Waltz’ and then Vaughan Williams’s Welsh Hymn ‘Rhosymedre’. Further pieces included music by Prokofiev (‘Gavotte’) and Shostakovich (Waltz No.2) and Leroy Anderson (‘The Typewriter). To prove that we really were in the 20th century the orchestra played some James Bond music (‘For Your Eyes Only’) by Conti and Leeson and David Andrew’s ‘Wild Tango’.     

The orchestra went out with a mighty crash and a bang with a rousing rendition of themes from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ (Badelt) which earned prolonged and rapturous applause.  

The concert was played to a full house and to a most appreciative audience which included Dr. Julian Lewis MP, the orchestra’s patron. 

The orchestra are next playing at Christ Church, Freemantle, Southampton on Sunday 1st March, 2020.