The Group – City of Cambridge SymphonyÃ‚Â Orchestra
The Venue – West Road Concert Hall
Date – 29th November
Damage – Ã‚Â£15
Time for a bit of culture. On Saturday Mad Mac took in a show at the West Road concert hall in Cambridge. I demanded he reviewed the event so as to give a different slant to his critique in order for at least 1 positive review to flow from his poisoned pen. Let’s see what he came up with….
The CCSO have been performing under a number of names since 1973 before settling on their new name.
Not my favourite piece I could not get a hand on the tune – it seemed as though they were never going to finish tuning up and get started. All 42 in the group played with great gusto, and to be honest it was a relief when it ended. Despite the conductorâ€™s valiant efforts, I felt it was not one of Wagners best, â€œThe Ride of The Valkyrieâ€Â it was not. (I prefer the early demos myself – Ross)
Just as the conductor was about to start he realised that one of the trombonists had not put in an appearance – a runner was duly sent. He came back waving his equipment in his hand. We had to stop once more, as the drummer, who reminded me of Dale Crover of the Melvins, (Mad Mac is a big fan of theirs) thought the drums would sound better if he took of the covers first. We at long last began.
Despite the long opening title, once this number started I thought of Morecambe and Wise and the classic sketch they did with Adre Previn when Eric Morecambe attempted to play this number. Previn (Prevue as they called him), stopped him playing and said he was playing the wrong notes, Eric replied â€œNo I am playing the right notes sunshine, but not necessarily in the right order.â€Â Classic. The soloist on this occasion was Clare Hammond on the piano. Not only did she play all the right notes but in the right order as well. Despite thoughts of Eric, Clare with the now increased group size of 51, gave an excellent performance.
This was one I could have done without for despite the obvious prowess of the musicians Ã‚Â Ã‚Â I longed for the unfinished part, despite the movements of the pretty violinist in the front.
The group size had once more increased with the addition of harp (not the drink) and more percussion. It now stood at 63. For this number, we had a narrator who told us what we were going to hear. Each of the instrument sections played part of the melody, followed by each instrument doing the same; which rose to an extremely loud and spine tingling final part using all of the instruments in the group, ncluding harp, xylophone, gong, whip, and various men at the back playing with their horns. Throughout this we had the narrator telling us what was to come. After the applause,Ã‚Â the conductor took three curtain calls, accompanied by the narrator, why? All he did was read a short piece of text, which required no skill whatsoever other than the ability to read which most people can now do. Bouquets came on, one for the conductor, one to a random violinist who was most confused and passed it on the first violinist. There was one for the narrator, I still cannot see why, he read a bit, and did look slightly confused.Ã‚Â No electronics needed, and no bleeding eardrums at the end a good night.
Words – Mad Mac
Intro – Ross Macdonald
(Previous Mad Mac reviews can be found here)