ISCA Ensemble delights Sidmouth audience

ISCA Ensemble performance raises �550 for Sidmouth’s Macmillan Cancer Support

THROUGHOUT 2011, Roger Hendy and his ISCA Ensemble showed they were not afraid to tackle some adventurous programming to delight their Sidmouth audiences.

Saturday’s concert in Sidmouth Parish Church was no exception, with a set of well-known orchestral pieces enthusiastically received by a good sized audience.

Overtures are a warm-up for an opera or play and so appropriately the ISCAs started with the overture to the Merry Wives of Windsor by Nicolai. They worked confidently through the piece, smoothly presenting the lyrical theme before being joined by the percussion section in a good work out to build up the final crescendo.

Then followed one of the most popular of all romantic symphonies; Schubert’s Unfinished eighth. The gently rocking nature of the first movement was solidly underpinned by the cellos and basses throughout.

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The horns led in admirably to the slightly darker mood of the second movement, both contributions earning the players their applause in the spotlight at the end.

Beethoven’s Pastoral symphony was the piece for the second half. Beethoven was not given to providing programmed themes to his works but his evocation of a rural paradise has ensured the popularity of his sixth symphony.

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The orchestra portrayed well the ‘happy feelings’ suggested by the first movement. In the second their little brook burbled quietly away with the bird calls at the end singing out prominently.

The last three movements run together, and the ISCAs brought out the robust jollity of the peasants’ merry making before the storm arrived with menacing rumbles.

As the raindrops pass away, the feelings of relief hesitantly returned to bring the work to its happy conclusion.

The happy conclusion to the evening’s music making was thoroughly well deserved applause for the players and their leader Roger Hendy, and a generous retiring collection which handed more than �550 to Joyce Burnham, Sidmouth Chairman of Macmillan Cancer Support.

More music in church follows with a lunchtime piano recital by Christopher Guild on Wednesday, March 7 and on Saturday, March 10, when the Schubert Ensemble will play the famous Trout Quintet. Euterpe

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