Concert Review April 2015

Trianon at St Johns April 2015

Saturday 18 April 2015, 7.30pm trianon-at-StJohns
St John the Baptist Church, Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich IP4 4QE


Trianon Choir and Symphony Orchestra
Conductor:Stephen Rumsey
Leader: Steve Browne
Sponsored by the ‘Friends of Trianon’

A programme of great works from the Romantic period when tunes really mattered, and when music often reflected the move to national identities in countries such as Finland and Italy. Guest Conductor, Stephen Rumsey, makes a welcome return to conduct Trianon’s Choir and Orchestra.

Tchaikovsky Marche Slav
Rachmaninov Vespers (selection) including: Come, let us worship
Ave Maria
Sibelius Symphony No 5
Verdi Four Sacred Pieces


St John the Baptist Church in Ipswich was the perfect setting for this concert by the talented members of Trianon, skillfully led by their guest conductor, Stephen Rumsey. The programme, sponsored by the Friends of Trianon, started with Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave, opening with dark rumblings from the cellos and basses and later developing into Russian and Serbian folk melodies beautifully played by various soloists on woodwind. Dramatic effect was provided by percussion, contributing to an energetic and stylish performance.

Next, the choir sang three movements from Rachmaninov’s Vespers. St John’s was absolutely appropriate as a venue, with its high ceilings and wonderful cathedral-like acoustics – for this atmospheric performance. The whole space was filled with a sublime combination of unison voices, delicate harmonies and chant-like themes.

The orchestra’s performance of Sibelius’s Symphony No 5 marked the 150th anniversary of his birth. This difficult but hugely evocative piece was performed effortlessly and to a highly polished standard. The audience was left spellbound as the piece ended with a series of staggered chords, separated by silence. The church continued to echo for several seconds as conductor and orchestra remained motionless, allowing the symphony to conclude with great impact.

The second half of the programme consisted of Verdi’s Four Sacred Pieces, performed by both orchestra and choir. Composed in the 1890’s, this music has a modern feel, with unusual orchestral harmonies complementing the solemn choral line. In the last section, an exquisite solo soprano voice floated above the orchestra.

Once again, Trianon treated their audience to an accomplished performance of a thoughtfully chosen and enjoyable programme.