“This was worthy of a fully professional city orchestra and what we heard says good things about the ambition and reach of this conductor and his players.”
The brass instrument tradition played its part in last Saturday’s Todmorden Orchestra concert at Todmorden Town Hall. French horns were at the fore in a selection of German music. This was worthy of a fully professional city orchestra and what we heard says good things about the ambition and reach of this conductor and his players.
There were a few wobbles here and there, but overall the evening was a triumph. It started with Beethoven’s Egmont overture, which had its opaque moments but was excitingly driven and went with a satisfying growl and a swing.
The first half ended with the rarely heard Schumann Konzerstuck for horns and orchestra. This made a jubilant noise: kinetic, hoarse and poetic. Nor should we forget the orchestra’s first trumpet – always something of a star. His clarion calls lifted the piece out of the woodland reveries into the joyous finale as well as being a key voice in the Mahler. The soloists were the Huddersfield Horns who were ranged at the front of the orchestra and treated the audience to a sly and jazzy little piece as an encore.
The Mahler First Symphony ended things with more forest idylls, but it was flecked with fairytale nightmare and regal triumph. The brass benches were augmented by the four Huddersfield horn players – making eight horns among this sixty-strong orchestra. In a well-judged theatrical touch the eight horns stood during the overwhelming last five minutes of the Mahler, adding their golden whoops as a magnificent flourish to an epic symphony.