Concert April 2016
- Puccini: Messa di Gloria David Butt Philip – Tenor Benjamin Bevan – Bass
- Strauss: Horn Concerto No 1 Op 11 Ben Goldscheider – Horn
- Mendelssohn: Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Puccini’s Messa di Gloria is one of the lesser-known delights of his career. Composed when he was just 22 as his graduation exercise from the Istituto Musicale Pacini, it was not performed again until the 1950s. This will be its first performance by Winchester Music Club. In the first half of the concert, the orchestra will perform two other works that came from the ‘springtime’ of their composers’ lives: Mendelssohn’s Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, composed when he was only 16, and Richard Strauss’s First Horn Concerto, written at the age of 18. The soloist will be Ben Goldscheider, currently Principal Horn of the National Youth Orchestra.
Concert Review by Duncan Eves
The audience at St Swithun’s School Performing Arts Centre witnessed a young star in the making when Ben Goldscheider, a brass finalist in the current BBC Young Musician of the Year, took to the stage to perform the first horn concerto of Richard Strauss with Winchester Music Club orchestra.
Principal horn of the National Youth Orchestra and already freelancing with the top London orchestras, this eighteen-year old musician held our attention right from the bold, heroic opening flourish of this concerto through to the virtuosic demands of the finale. In the lyrical slow movement his burnished golden tone gleamed above the orchestra which provided finely-honed support. Winchester Music Club should be congratulated for promoting such young talent.
The Music Club Choir were joined in the second half of the concert by tenor David Butt Philip and bass Benjamin Bevan for Puccini’s Messa di Gloria. This youthful work provides glimpses of the mature opera composer and the choir relished the melodic writing, revelling in the big tunes as well as the more tender moments. The tenor soloist in the et incarnatus was suitably operatic with a fine Italianate tone while the bass produced a rich and powerful sonority. Puccini’s big choral climaxes blazed with enthusiasm and energy, a tribute to the inspiring direction of David Thomas, who is definitely putting his stamp on the quality of music making.
As ever, the Music Club Orchestra were on fine form, with some lovely woodwind playing in the Mendelssohn overture to ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, making a magical prelude to the concert.