Northern Chamber Orchestra & Viv McLean (piano)

Northern Chamber Orchestra returned to Cockermouth after a long absence to play for Cockermouth Music Society and Christchurch rang with the sound of their wonderful performance. Starting quite gently with a Haydn Symphony (La Passione), they then launched into a Mozart Piano Concerto (K414) with soloist Viv McLean, whose flying fingers and masterly articulation combined to produce a satisfying interpretation of this great music.

The second half began with Holst’s St Pauls Suite, one of the composer’s best known works, which embodies both infectious joy and fun. The orchestra clearly enjoyed this music , giving verve and brightness to the jigs and then producing meltingly beautiful sound in the Ostinato movement. Finally we were again reminded of the greatness of Mozart’s genius as his 29th Symphony was given an uplifting performance by an orchestra who can make the most of the beauty of the music with the commitment they show at all times, the command of dynamics and the precision of their playing being at all times admirable. This is a group of great players with a great Director, Nicholas Ward, and the enthusiastic response of the audience was rewarded with a charming encore, a Mozart Andante, which brought the concert to a successful close.