Summer Strings 2017
1st September 2017
Over the summer months, twenty of the string players met on five evenings for our now firmly established Summer Strings. We were joined by a few non-CAOS players who we hope will be encouraged to join the orchestra when we start rehearsals in September. New music for this summer included Warlock’s Capriol Suite, Shostakovich’s Waltz from Jazz Suite No. 2, Leopold Mozart’s Sinfonia di Camera and Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer. At each rehearsal we played Strauss’s Pizzicato Polka with the objective of improving our ensemble pizzicato which has been described as “scatter-gun” by our conductor. Time will tell if this has been beneficial. Some old favourites such as Karl Jenkin’s Palladio and Corelli’s Christmas Concerto were also played. Suggestions for next year’s music will be welcome.
Christmas concert 2017
1st December 2018
The format of this year’s Christmas concert was a departure from our normal. We opened and closed the concert with Christmas carols that got the audience involved. After Shostakovich’s Festival Overture, the first half continued with a number of short works played by small groups from the orchestra: Rutter’s Pie Jesu played by a brass quintet, the fist movement of Gounod’s Petite Symphonie played by the wind section, Karl Kenkin’s Palladio played by the string section and Mascagni’s Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana arranged for horns and trombones. Douglas’s What a Wonderful World also arranged for horns and trombones brought the first half to a close. After the interval we played Journey into Space by Tom Cunningham, a local composer, who was in the audience and then the main work - the First Symphony of Camille Saint-Saens.
Christmas concert 2018 - Two World Premieres
9th December 2019
Our Christmas concert kicked off with Schubert’s Rosamunde Oveture. This was followed by an arrangement of Sibelius’s Finlandia for brass quintet. The string section of the orchestra then played the Symphony No. 1 “New Year Ode” by William Boyce. This was one of the works that we played during our Summer Strings evenings earlier in the year. This was followed by a different brass quintet that played Wagner’s arrangement of Silvestri’s Polar Express. The first half ended with the evening’s world premieres - Lullabies from the Isles - three traditional Scottish lullabies arranged for orchestra by local composer June Nelson.
The second half of the concert opened with the third movement of Symphony No. 1 by Josef Suk. We will be playing the complete symphony in our next concert. The second of the evening’s premieres followed - three movements from the suite Mood Swings composed by Tristan Heal, a violinist in the orchestra. The concert ended on a festive note with Leroy Anderson’s Christmas Festival - a rousing arrangement of traditional carols and Christmas tunes.
Spring concert 2019
12th May 2019
The concert opened with a stirring rendition of Beethoven’s overture Consecration of the House which he composed for the opening of Vienna’s Theater in der Josefstadt.
This was followed by a performance of Concerto Borealis for Trombone and Orchestra by the Danish composer Soren Hyldgaard (1962 - 2018). Ruth Andrew, one of our trombone players, bravely put herself forward to play this and gave a magnificent performance. It was certainly a challenge for both soloist and orchestra but great to play as it took us outside the comfort of our normal repertoire.
The concert ended with the performance of three movements from the 1st Symphony of Josef Suk.
Summer Strings 2019
1st September 2019
Once again we have enjoyed five Tuesday evenings of string playing over the summer months. Around 20 members took part and played a wide range of music that included: some Latin American tangos, Sousa’s Liberty Bell (minus the Monty Python sound effects!), movement 2 of Haydn’s Surprise Symphony and a rock version of it, William Boyce’s Symphony 4 and a Sinfonia in D minor by the Swedish composer Per Brant (1714 - 1767). We have rehearsed this sinfonia with a view to performing it at our December concert.
As always, suggestions of music for next year are welcome.
Winter Concert 2019
8th December 2019
Here are a few interesting facts relating to the composers featured in this concert’s programme. Did you know? Joseph Raff walked from Zurich to Basel to hear Liszt play the piano - that’s 50 miles, an 18 hour walk, even on today’s roads. Ralph Vaughan Williams was exposed to gunfire while serving in France during World War 2 and suffered hearing loss in old age. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was christened Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. Victor Hely-Hutchinson was director of music for the BBC during World War 2 and played the piano at the Proms. Paul Taffanel, a flautist, was the first non-string player to conduct the Paris Opera.
The orchestra has purchased the music for Hely-Hutchinson’s Carol Symphony. The first movement was played this evening and our intention is to play one movement each year. Look out for movement two in December 2020.
Spring Concert 2020
17th May 2020
Unfortunately, this concert was cancelled due to Covid-19
CAOS on the Danube
25th May 2021
Although we have been unable to meet for more than a year, we have been busy. During lockdown, we have made a virtual recording of the Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss. Each member recorded their part at home using whatever equipment they had available - mobile phone, tablet, personal computer, etc. Ruth and Penelope then did an amazing job in merging all of our video and sound tracks to produce a final video. It can be viewed on the orchestra’s Facebook page or via this link.