• Strings at the Abbey
    Published: Monday 17 March 2014 09:57:AM
    Author: Andrew Ball
    1 of 1 Diana Milner and Double Bass with some members of the Orchestra

    An enthusiastic Audience of 80 from the area came to the Great Hall at the Abbey for a concert of Old and New presented by the Vale Royal String Orchestra on Sunday 9th March. The concert started with a Mozart Divertimento that was written when he was a teenager followed by Elgar’s Serenade for Strings. This music paints an audio picture of the Herefordshire where Elgar lived.

    The highlight of the evening was a performance of Gordon Jacob’s Little Concerto for Double Bass. There are very few concertos written for Double Bass so it was a great occasion for the instrument to take centre stage and for Diana Milner to show us all what it could do. Diana Milner is a World Class exponent of the double bass and led the double bass section of the Hallé orchestra for many years.

    After the interval the orchestra performed a Chaconne by Purcell but arranged for string orchestra by Britten. This is a very ‘meaty’ arrangement compared to playing it in an early music style and allows the orchestra to let rip.

    The evening finished with a new work by local composer (and member of the first violins) Adrienne Spilsbury’s third suite for String Orchestra. Although being new it is very much in the style of twentieth century British music similar to Elgar, Britten and Walton.

    St Mary’s Church and the Orchestra are very grateful to Vale Royal Abbey Golf Club for their support and the use of the Great Hall for what has become an annual event over the last twelve years.