University Philharmonic Orchestra review

MAGGIE COTTON ADMIRES A STUDENT ORCHESTRA

UNIVERSITY PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Elgar Hall, Bramall Music Building *****

Birmingham University certainly fielded a splendid orchestra of 87 players (only three guests) - a wonderful turnout of enthusiasm and skills. The University Philharmonic Orchestra , conductor Daniele Rosina, surpassed themselves in this truly challenging programme in the Elgar Hall: excellent for acoustics and a very large stage.
We began with Charles Ives' rarely-performed The Unanswered Question - a special event . . . almost inaudible strings setting the scene for the cosmic landscape; eerie, and beautifully controlled.

To Italy next for Respighi's magical Fountains of Rome. Four fountains, each enchanting. The Triton Fountain sparkling with a triangle trill secretly adding red hot to white hot (a trick of the trade !) Magical, thought provoking orchestration throughout.

Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony is a truly scary, thought- provoking masterpiece. The students went for it with full force much to the delight of the large audience. Daniele Rosina certainly inspired his young orchestra; every section responding with fine understanding and excellent highlights from every section of players. Heart-stopping strings, woodwind solos, chunky basses, hair-raising timpani and percussion, elegant harps, glorious brass, whispering 'mouse music' to a truly smoke-rising finale. Grins all round !

Maggie Cotton

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