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Buckley Orchestral Society Concert"

Tivoli, Brunswick Road, Buckley

13 May 1950

The following review of a Concert by the Buckley Orcheatral Society is from an unknown newspaper



Mr. W. Davies, A.R.C.O., and his enthusiastic band of instrumentalists are to be congratulated on the charming concert held in the Tivoli on Sunday in aid of the Chester Royal Infirmary. There was a large audience, anxious both to help the cause of charity and to encourage their local musicians; and in Buckley, as I have always found, they know how to listen. The vocalists were two lay clerks from Chester Cathedral - Mr. J. H. Ditchburn (bass) and Mr. John Roberts (tenor).

It was announced that the Orchestral Society has been in existence for three years. It must now be considered as a healthy and lusty infant, and is assured of a long and prosperous existence. I hope the society will realise what good fortune was theirs to be born in Buckley, where musically the air is so healthy and invigorating. Valuable pioneer work was done by Mr. H. E. Rowlands, and now in Mr. Davies school the society are making rapid progress, and have already gained a credible efficiency which could only have been achieved be steady persevering rehearsal work. The programme was well varied, and although designed on popular lines maintained a praiseworthy level of distinction, which, while reasonably within the society's powers, presaged bigger things to come. There were evidences of excellent team work, and if the texture of orchestral tone is not always fully well knit and firm at present - for the finer excellences require time for their full development - the ensemble, and the playing always marked by a gratifying musical intelligence and a healthy enthusiasm. A little longer of well disciplined slog Work and Buckley Orchestral Society will make a name for itself.

After the opening hymn O God our Help - an inspiring bit of community singing - the orchestra started the programme with the Raymond Overture by Ambrose Thomas. The composer was one of the most popular and successful French writers for the light opera stage, and although Raymond was first produced as far back as 1851, its pleasant turns of melody and piquant orchestration are ever a delight to listen to. The strings have the main melody, and here I thought, that both the first and second violins left too much to their leaders and the tone became a little anaemic. The lower strings were more full blooded in tone (if I may preserve my metaphor), while the wood wind and brass ere always prompt and reliable. Mr. Davies made a great success of the more dramatic section, and brought the piece to a powerful climax. In the Handel piece (the minuet from Berenice) the upper strings had now lost all their nervousness, and played with great smoothness. The whole performance was delightful, with its steady swing and onward sweep. I think it is Dr. Agnes Savill who refers to Handel's music as delightfully and sincerely simple but we must not forget that the simple is often the profound. This delicious movement is mature Handel for he was over 50 when he wrote it, and has the poise of supreme art. I was rather disappointed that at Buckley the Berenice minuet did not get an encore. Jarnefelt's Preludium is always one of the most popular of orchestral concert items. In this respect it stands beside, say, the Valse Triste and Finlandia by that other Finnish composer, Sibelius. Written in strict cannon form, the Praeludium is full of delicate intricacies, and I was delighted with the way Mr. Davies piloted his forces round some rather tricky corners . The performance was very meritorious, though it just missed the pleasant sparkle which comes of more mature acquaintance. The selections from Sir Ed. German's Merrie England were delightfully played, and all the old favourite tunes went with splendid vim and crispness. The orchestra's concluding number, was the ever popular Marche Militaire, by Schubert - played in brilliant martial style, and with a fine swing of rhythmic energy.

The instrumental soloist was Mr. J. W. Ellis, of Mold, who had a fine command of his instrument, and a clean and sympathetic style which promises well. His interpretive abilities came out well in the Londonderry Air (arranged O'Connor Morris) and a Minuet by W. H. Squire.

Mr. John Roberts, the tenor from Chester Cathedral, acquitted himself well, but I think rather under-estimated Buckley's musical standard by his excess of very sentimental ditties which always seem to creep in whenever a sacred concert is announced. His best effort was certainly Coleridge-Taylor's fine song Eleanore Mr. J. H. Ditchburn has wonderfully preserved his voice, which is known as one of the best Cathedral bass voices in the country. His wonderful organ-like tones and his faultless diction are an education to younger singers. His excellent rendering of the Song of the clock (Burckell) led to his re-appearance in Nevin's Mighty like a rose. He later dang he old favourite, In sheltered vale (old German) and ever-green tramp song, Happy go lucky The two vocalists afterwards joined in the memorable duet which has almost achieved immortality, The moon hath raised.

Mr. Davies, who conducted his forces with a careful thoroughness, and secured some really telling orchestral effects, is to be warmly congratulated on the standard of achievement which the Buckley Orchestral Society has now reached, and the sure and certain hope of its new conquests.

During the interval, Dr. T. S. Severs, of Buckley, in a happy little spe3ech put in an eloquent plea for the Chester Royal Infirmary, and expressed the thanks of the audience and the district to the Orchestral Society for their efforts.

Miss D. Cropper acted as pianist in a capable manner, and the duty of accompanying the vocalists was carried out by Mr. T. Roberts, Buckley.




Author: Anon


Year = 1950

Month = May

Day = 13

Building = Commercial

Event = Social/Entertainment

Extra = Entertainment

Extra = 1950s

Extra = Music

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