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Reviews
Review: Pictures At An Exhibition – Mussorgsky / Ravel and Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony

Review: Pictures At An Exhibition – Mussorgsky / Ravel and Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony

An excellent choice of programme ensured a full house at Tonbridge Parish Church on Saturday. Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is a musical description of ten watercolours and architectural drawings, that were included in a Retrospective of the works of Mussorgsky’s late friend Viktor Hartmann in St Petersburg in 1874. Originally composed for solo piano, the suite was orchestrated after...

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Dvorak Stabat Mater

Dvorak Stabat Mater

Of the repertoire of works for chorus and orchestra from the nineteenth century, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater must be one of the more rarely heard; yet it is undoubtedly a masterpiece.  Part of the reason may be the strange incongruity between the somewhat austere 13th century text and its expression through full-blooded Romanticism.  The poem (attributed to a Franciscan friar) is one of is one of...

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Review: An English Prom (Sullivan, Walton, Holst, Parry, Finzi)

Review: An English Prom (Sullivan, Walton, Holst, Parry, Finzi)

What a joyful evening’s entertainment our Philharmonic Society gave us with their ‘English Summer Prom’! The BBC, who originated the Promenade Concert tradition always presents a programme of wide-ranging, varied items – and TPS followed suit. All the composers represented were English, but the content could not have been more disparate. After a slightly shaky start, the orchestra swung...

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Review: Prokofiev Violin Concerto No 1 / Tchaikovsky Symphony No 5

Review: Prokofiev Violin Concerto No 1 / Tchaikovsky Symphony No 5

An optimistic and exciting new chapter in the life of Tonbridge Philharmonic Society opened last night when new conductor Mark Biggins put the Orchestra through its paces in a well-balanced programme of Russian music. First was Sadko, a rarely-heard tone poem by that master of orchestration, Rimsky-Korsakov. Setting episodes from a 12th century folk tale, the composer’s musical word-painting...

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Review: Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem

Review: Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem

On Saturday 30th March, Tonbridge Philharmonic Society Orchestra and Chorus gave a moving performance of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem in the Chapel of St Augustine, Tonbridge School - their second performance with guest conductor Michael Waldron. They were joined by thirty members of the Evangelische Kantorei from Heusenstamm, supported by the Friendship Circle. The Requiem was sung in the...

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Review: Elgar Cello Concerto / Rachmaninov’s 2nd Symphony

Review: Elgar Cello Concerto / Rachmaninov’s 2nd Symphony

I approached this orchestral concert with two thoughts on my mind; how would guest conductor Michael Waldron step into the immense shoes of Matthew Willis and how would an amateur orchestra, however good, pull off the Rachmaninov 2nd Symphony? The first question was quickly answered as this young man led the orchestra through Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4 with a calm authority....

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War Requiem

War Requiem

One of the strongest musical memories from my teenage years is listening to the first two performances of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem on the radio, and then hearing it live at the Proms.  Even then, I was very aware that this was a special experience and that a masterpiece had been created. Like many choral societies around the nation, Tonbridge chose Britten’s War Requiem as the work which...

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Viva la Diva

Viva la Diva

The last concert in the Tonbridge Philharmonic Society’s current season was given in St Stephen’s Church, Tonbridge; this is a venue which is ideal in layout and acoustics for a concert such Viva la Diva. The programme presented a selection of well-known operatic highlights reflecting the German tradition and then, in the second half, the Italian.  This format made the contrasts between the two...

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Bernstein: Chichester Psalms

Bernstein: Chichester Psalms

Copland: In the Beginning, Bernstein: Chichester Psalms, Verdi:  Four Sacred Pieces The programme chosen by Tonbridge Philharmonic Society’s conductor Matthew Willis on Saturday was a challenging one.  Bringing together two works by American-Jewish composers was a successful idea, and introduced many of us to a new work, seldom performed.  Aaron Copland’s In the Beginning opened the concert with...

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Shostakovich Symphony No. 7

Shostakovich Symphony No. 7

Copland: Fanfare for the common man Barber: Adagio Shostakovich: Symphony No 7 I do not recall ever attending a concert given by amateur performers that received a spontaneous standing ovation at the end.  That this concert, given by the Tonbridge Philharmonic Orchestra in the sacred space of Tonbridge School Chapel, was so received is an indication of what a stupendous occasion it was.  I was...

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Please note: 

The current government guidance on live performance during the COVID-19 pandemic means that there are no concerts planned and no tickets on sale

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