Marlborough Concert Orchestra gave a rousing concert on Saturday Dec 4. It was a special occasion in many ways. It was the final concert for conductor, Roselise Gentile and, because of the pandemic, it was the first live concert for 2 years. An eager audience was not disappointed.
The evening opened with a Mozart overture The Impresario K486. The orchestra played with sensitivity and energy; a rousing beginning paving the way for the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor. The next outstanding part of the evening was the wonderful performance of the violin soloist Yaoré Talibart. Her playing had that special quality of making everything sound effortless and easy to follow; she shared the music with us, she communicated with us, so that we thought, not only that is she a superb musician, but also that she is showing us the genius of Felix Mendelssohn.
After a short interval, we were treated to Beethoven’s 7th Symphony; a rich tapestry of sound, a landscape of emotional fervour which the exuberant orchestra really enjoyed, and so did we. Wagner called the second movement “the apotheosis of the dance”, so lilting and beautiful, and the orchestra conveyed that feeling to us well.
The acoustics in St Mary’s Church are challenging and difficult. The low ceiling seems to bounce the sound around, which could make for musical confusion, but the conductor does not let this happen. Her musicianship is impeccable!
The concert was a great and fitting tribute to the conductor Roselise Gentile, who, much to everyone’s sorrow, is leaving the Marlborough Concert Orchestra as she has been offered more professional work in her native Italy and Europe. She has been an inspiration to the orchestra for 6 years and has brought fresh energy and expertise to all the players. We have been very lucky, and over the years have enjoyed many splendid concerts. She will be sorely missed, but the foundations she has laid will be invaluable for the future.