Concert reviews

Just some of the feedback we have had from our audience and supporters:

  • I have been coming to TC concerts for the last 4 years and I think the orchestra gets better and better!

  • Absolutely fantastic concert; amazing young soloist.

  • The whole afternoon was brilliant and we had a great time enjoying the music. My in-laws couldn’t believe it was a local orchestra.

  • The Bach absolutely danced!

  • It was a joy to have such accomplished musicians playing with such assurance and we all thought the trio of soloists in the opening Brandenburg Concerto were superb and set us off with a momentum which never eased.

    - Phoenix choir member
  • Who would have thought we could hear music like this in Bicester.

  • In a letter of 1943, Ralph Vaughan Williams recalls being taken, as “an insufferable young prig” to a performance of Carmen. He went, he says, “prepared to scoff, but remained to pray.” The composer was quoting from Oliver Goldsmith’s poem The Village Preacher, which describes a simple country clergyman whose sermons, unaffected and straightforward, left even the most worldly and cynical on their knees at the end of the service.

    I must hasten to make it clear that I did not come to the Trinity Camerata’s performance of Vaughan Williams’ Fifth Symphony “prepared to scoff”! However, I did feel some trepidation when I saw it on the programme. It is a very difficult work, making huge demands on all sections of the orchestra. How would the lush string passages sound with such a small group? How would the woodwind fare with the many exposed solos? How would the players negotiate the dramatic cross-rhythms of the scherzo? Would they be able to generate the energy called for by the great triumphal climaxes of the last movement?

    These questions were answered by the awed hush in the church at the conclusion of the symphony, after that wonderful passage when, in the words of Sir Adrian Boult, “The sky gradually fills with angels.” For a long time after the sound faded, nobody in the audience moved. The word “spiritual” is much misused these days, but I can think of no better description of the atmosphere which had been generated by the music. Much of the material in Vaughan Williams’ Fifth Symphony is related to his Bunyan opera The Pilgrim’s Progress, and there was a real sense of Pilgrim’s journey in the performance, starting with his religious awakening in the first movement, moving through worldly temptations in the scherzo, and arriving at a  recognition of the suffering Christ in the slow movement (“He hath given me rest by his sorrow and life by his death”).  In the last movement Pilgrim sees the Holy City in the distance beyond the cold river of death, and determines to cross over. With glorious Easter alleluias resounding he finally reaches his journey’s end (“And the trumpets sounded out for him upon the other side”) as the music swells to a huge climax and then resolves in a heavenly, angelic peace.

    So congratulations to the Trinity Camerata for bringing out the full emotional impact of this challenging piece. It was a truly moving performance and at the end, hardened cynic that I am, I confess that a tear came to my eye; and yes, although my arthritic knees prevented my kneeling, I did remain to pray- even if those Easter alleluias were a bit premature in Lent!

    - Nigel Timms
  • What a brilliant concert!

  • Local orchestras don't get much better than this!

  • I love coming along to your concerts. The church is so beautiful, and I can just relax and let the music take me to another place. I loved the guitar concerto last Sunday - I was humming it all the way home!

  • The concert had a determined energy and spark about it which was a pleasure to be part of.

    - Nancy Roberts
  • The children were dancing in the south aisle to the Nutcracker! And there were continual ripples of excitement across the audience during the Snowman.

  • Thomas is still singing The Snowman..

  • Your concerts are the start of our Christmas.

  • The concert was great. I loved "Waltz of the Flowers", you sounded just like a professional orchestra - lovely balance of brass and strings.

  • We really enjoyed the Beethoven - what the conductor said about it made me really listen to it properly for the first time.

  • an amazing soloist.

  • This was the first time I had been to hear this orchestra - and what a good orchestra!

  • a great sound in such a lovely building - even if it is dusty!

  • Some friends whose daughter plays in this orchestra took me to this concert. They considered I would be particularly interested in the ‘cello Concerto since half my career was as a peripatetic 'cello teacher.

    From the first few bars I recognized that the orchestral playing and conducting were of a very high standard and I greatly enjoyed them perform the first work which was totally new to me: ‘Overture to an Unwritten Tragedy’ by Parry. I later appreciated a performance of Brahms' 2nd Symphony, a work I’ve enjoyed for a long time.

    I must admit that the performance of the Elgar 'cello concerto I enjoyed best. I know the work very well and I was in the best seat in the church for watching the cellist Adi Tal. Sticking my neck out a bit, I think that not every good pianist necessarily makes a good accompanist and likewise not every good conductor and orchestra achieve a good ensemble and balance with a concerto soloist (or concerto soloists). Jerry Lanning did and the performances from orchestra and soloist were spellbinding.

    In the programme notes for the concert I read that Adi Tal was a winner of the Muriel Taylor 'Cello Prize and after the performance I went to tell Adi how much I’d enjoyed the performance of the Elgar and that Muriel Taylor was my 'cello teacher at the Royal Academy of Music over half a century ago - Adi was interested to hear that and said it was the first time she’d met anyone who had told her that he/she'd been taught by Muriel Taylor. The Elgar really was an inspired performance and the personal connections special too.

    I shall remember and treasure the memory of this concert. Thank you Adi Tal and Jerry Lanning and the orchestra.

    - David Baker - GRSM LRAM (piano) LGSM (singing) LTCL ('cello)