The winter performance of the Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra (TWSO) is a must-attend. That the orchestra managed to nearly fill the Clarence Street Theatre last night, despite competing with two other major attractions (the All Blacks vs Ireland at the Waikato Stadium and the opening of the musical Oliver) is testament to the following the orchestra has achieved.
Internationally acclaimed conductor Rupert D’Cruze is the orchestra’s musical director, leading a team of around 60 musicians. While some are working towards becoming professional musicians at the Music School at nearby University of Waikato, most work orchestra in around their day jobs. They put on a great show.
Any attempts at reviewing music are likely to reflect more on my lack of discernment than on the standard of performance. My music teacher pleaded with me to stop learning the violin, so my comments do need to be taken in context. Last night’s offering included Tchaikovsky (and the comfort of familiar melodies), Mozart (with a stunning bassoon soloist), Brahms (once again, familiar) and Borodin (who I think may be an acquired taste).
I could have listened all night to Ian Parsons, soloist in Mozart’s Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra in B flat major, KV 191. His little encore of Summer Time from Porgi and Bess was an appreciated treat (kind of like an amuse bouche, but it came after the main course). Top marks, also, to the brass section for a rousing performance.