Concert review – The Trianon Ipswich Prom

The Trianon Ipswich Prom – The Ipswich Corn Exchange.
Saturday 12 September 2015


This was Ipswich’s own Last Night of the Proms. Sponsored by Scrutton Bland, the evening was a colourful and entertaining event, provided by the versatile and accomplished musicians of Trianon and led by their conductor Professor Chris Green.


Gloria for choir, brass, percussion and organ was one of two pieces in the programme by Trianon President John Rutter. A wonderful brass fanfare opened proceedings with a bang, and was followed by contrasting sections, which blended instruments, voices and soloists to create a magnificent start to the evening.

Matthew Curtis’s delightfully light-hearted and rhythmic Fiesta then followed, clearly enjoyed by the orchestra as much as the audience. Exquisite solos came from clarinet accompanied by pizzicato strings, and also trumpet. Next was English Folk-Song Suite by Vaughan-Williams, which weaves together well-known melodies such as John Barleycorn, Seventeen Come Sunday, and Blow Away the Morning Dew. These were played with aplomb and spirit by the various sections of the orchestra.


The second item by John Rutter, Two American Folksongs, had both a cowboy feel and was also reminiscent of vocal groups such as the Inkspots, with bass voices providing a steady beat and rhythm. Added to this was the novelty value of a whistling soprano section!


The first half of the concert ended with the first performance ever of Some More Rogers and Hammerstein, a Trianon commission by Ipswich composer Andrew Burke. Skillfully combining well-known songs from eight different musicals, the piece has a real ‘sing-along’ feel.


Walton’s Spitfire Prelude and Fugue began the second half. Certain brilliantly played fast passages were a perfect evocation of this iconic aircraft flying into action. A melancholic violin solo also suggested the sadness of the human costs of war. The orchestra stepped up well to the demands of this splendidly stirring music. After this came a medley of Me and My Girl from 1937. The audience heard such well-known songs as Leaning on a Lamp-post and Lambeth Walk, performed with gusto and spirit by the choir.


The finale was the rousing Last Night of the Proms sequence: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1, Fantasia on Sea-Songs, and Jerusalem. Of particular note were a beautifully played cello solo with humming accompaniment from the choir, and a brilliantly and humorously played clarinet cadenza.


Flag-waving and hearty singing from the audience and choir, together with the bunting-decorated orchestra, contributed to a very special community occasion. Overheard on the way out of the building: ‘Who needs to go to Aldeburgh when we have this on our doorstep!’


Mahesh Raval