On a rather damp evening the Bristol Cathedral Players presented the annual Summer Festival Concert.
The orchestra consisted of local players who meet once a year for this particular occasion. With only two rehearsals they showed from the first notes of Beethoven’s Egmont Overture that they were skilled musicians.
The overture, in only a few minutes, encompasses the whole drama of the play, from heroic qualities, through despair and finally freedom for the people. The orchestra produced some powerful playing with the strings particularly prominent.
La Folia is a type of dignified Portuguese dance. One particular melody used for the dance attained wide popularity from the 16th century onwards and was used by many composers for the basis of variations.
Carl Philipp Bach – son of Johann Sebastian – was one of the earlier components of this theme and Christopher Guild gave a lucid account of the work Folies d’Espagne.
Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll is a gentle and warm-hearted work and is one of the few works he produced for orchestra alone.
The players displayed the ever-changing musical ideas with great clarity and from every section the sound was magnificent. John Davenport, the excellent conductor, conveyed the many emotions very successfully.
Christopher Guild made his second appearance after the interval in a majestic performance of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto. The opening is both regal and heroic with the orchestra taking control after a while before the piano lets loose with a flood of sound.
After the touching andante the brilliant finale provides ample opportunity for the soloist to display his considerable ability.
Christopher gave a superb rendition with the orchestra providing considerable support.