Review: Sinfonia Viva, Assembly Rooms, Derby, 12.11.11
Matthew Coorey first appeared at the Assembly Rooms six years ago as
the Hallé Orchestra's Assistant Conductor. This time he was
at the helm of Sinfonia Viva in a programme tailor-made for his
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off was the 'narrative for string orchestra' derived from Bernard
Herrmann's score for the Hitchcock classic Psycho. Whether
or not you buy into the notion that film music that stands up away
from the screen isn't really doing the job it was designed for, it
is an outstanding piece of writing for string orchestra. Viva's
playing was incisive, while leaving room for the rare moments of
lyricism, though the Prelude needed a touch more weight of tone to
give those jabbing chords real bite.
Sudbin joined the orchestra for a deeply satisfying performance of
Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 5 - taut, crisp and fiery in the
first movement, and full of tranquillity and warmth in the second.
There was a marvellous sense of hushed anticipation in the link to
the finale. The finale itself was handled with a light touch,
bringing out the playfulness and humour, with Sudbin's hands
seeming at times to barely even stroke the keys.
ballet Appalachian Spring is usually heard in the composer's
concert version for full orchestra, but the original
thirteen-instrument scoring is increasingly being played as well.
Viva made an effective compromise – the music of the concert suite
in the original instrumentation, but with additional string players.
Their performance was marked by limpid sonorities and strong dance
orchestra's sprightly, spirited playing resulted in an engaging
account of Mozart's Symphony no 35, 'Haffner'; their
quick-witted, whiplash reflexes in the finale were a particular