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"It was a joy....." 3 Jul 2019 Freeland Orchestra enjoyed a successful concert on Saturday in the lovely cool St Leonard's, avoiding the 30C outside!

It was a joy to sit in a pleasantly cool St Leonard’s Church Eynsham on a very warm Saturday afternoon, listening to the Freeland orchestra 2019 summer concert. The audience were treated to a short programme of pieces performed by the orchestra under conductor Wendy Marks.

Opening with Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito Overture, written in the final year of Mozart’s life and commissioned for the occasion of the coronation of Leopold II as King of Bohemia in Prague, the opera did not enjoy an immediate success, but as performed today, was an uplifting opening piece. This was followed by Beethoven’s Symphony No1 in C Major, Beethoven's bold musical experimentation ably performed to emphasize the pleasant melodies and the conductor’s rich interpretation.

The third piece, Brahms Hungarian Dance No.6, was the first of two dances. Most of the Hungarian dances are rapid, energetic pieces. Imitating the spirit of Hungarian folk music the sixth dance begins with a quick tempo, then becomes even more frenzied. To conclude the concert and a delight for the audience was the Hungarian Dance no.5. Played with enthusiasm and rhythmic tension, the interplay of violins, piccolo and flutes provided the essential ‘gypsy’ sound raising the musical temperature to match the day’s warmth.

A very pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon; we look forward to the November concert.

(Simon Baker)