Noisy neighbours mar Sidmouth church concert

Cologne ensemble performance at Sidmouth church marred by noise of clashing concert

HAVING to choose between two conflicting events is not unknown, but finding yourself at one concert and hearing another is unpleasant indeed.

That was the fate, however, of concert-goers to last Saturday evening’s concert by the Chamber Philharmonia of Cologne, presented in Sidmouth parish church.

A thoroughly enjoyable concert by this popular German orchestra was marred in the second half by the over-amplified noise emanating from outside.

That this music could be heard over the music inside the church, let alone across most of the town, suggests the people there might be putting their hearing at serious risk.

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Otherwise, the Cologne ensemble provided a competently presented programme of undemanding (nothing wrong with that) and entertaining music, which was enthusiastically received by a large audience.

The printed programme, clearly covering all their extensive tour, lacked a good degree of detail, which might have been appreciated by those unfamiliar with what they were hearing.

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Without the recognisable strains of Summer from The Four Seasons, which was left for one of the two encores, the Vivaldi opener probably left people somewhat perplexed. The programme told us nothing of Allessandro Marcello, with whom most people will not be familiar, but his concerto for oboe and string orchestra was a delightful work, as was the oboe concerto from Bach, the two D minor pieces together providing the opportunity for Polish oboist Malgorzata Zbroja to shine.

The utterly wonderful Andante Cantabile from Tchaikovsky’s first string quartet sounded just too heavy and ponderous in its setting for the full orchestra with the cello leading.

It should have been in its original form with just four players, as they did for the Rossini at the end.

Those small gripes and the noisy neighbours apart, this concert provided a very pleasant evening’s music-making, and reinforced the important place of the parish church in the cultural, as well as the religious, life of the town.


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