Les Misérables - Boublil/Schönberg (Work Song, I Dreamed a Dream, Master of the
House, Do You Hear the People Sing?)
After Freeland Orchestra we were treated to performances by the West Oxford Clarinets
- a very impressive group of nine clarinets and two bass clarinets. The group made
a beautifully homogeneous sound, was well in tune and played some very lively Dvorak
(well known 'Slavonic Dance no. 8') with well managed dynamic contrasts and lovely
unison middle section, followed by the Adagio of Grieg's Piano concerto and 'Sevillanas'
by Albeniz. This featured some very atmospheric Spanish sounding solos from the lead
clarinet Julia Middleton. They ended this half of the programme with an energetic
rendering of the Sinatra classic 'Come Fly with Me'.
For the second half the stage was taken by a huge wind band, West Oxfordshire Winds
(appropriately known as WOW!) The programme started with River Oaks, a rousing march
with good tuning in all sections, to be followed by 'Still, Still, Still' - a beautiful
piece which I have been informed was originally a Christmas carol. After 'Dixie Doodle
Dandy' featuring some reliable steady percussion the programme ended with a selection
from Les Miserables which was very enjoyable and received a rapturous reception.Well
done all round.