Sounds of Spring - with the Basingstoke Symphony Orchestra

Sounds of Spring: A Combined Concert, Basingstoke Symphony Orchestra and Farnham Youth Choir at the Anvil, Basingstoke

It’s a while since the Youth Choir has sung with a full orchestra and Saturday evening’s concert provided a very welcome reminder of what this feels like, as ‘Sounds of Spring’ was a combined concert with Basingstoke Symphony Orchestra. Working with the BSO under Stephen Scotchmer was clearly a great pleasure.

The venue was a relatively unfamiliar one, the Anvil in Basingstoke, and this was a useful chance to perform in a large concert hall. If the venue influenced FYC’s performance, this wasn’t surprising. Accompanied by Matthew on the piano, the choir’s programme was sung with focus and precision (Croce, Cantate Domino), maturity (Schubert, Gott ist Mein Hirt) and an exquisite sound (everything – but perhaps especially Fauré, Cantique de Jean Racine, with a harp threading its way through the orchestral part). The relatively intimidating setting may have made it trickier than usual for the singers to access their exuberant side, yet Kerry Andrew’s Charm was especially captivating and Ivo Antognini’s Wah bah dah bah doo bee! notably well-received.

In the first half of the concert, FYC had the chance to perform two pieces from Vaughan Williams’sFolk Songs of the Four Seasons with the orchestra, the combination producing some soulful colours. The centrepiece of the orchestral concert was Dvorak’s Symphony no. 7 which made up the second half, giving the young singers a chance to relax in the auditorium and soak up the BSO’s fine performance.

Review by Helen Cole