We are a string orchestra of about 25
players, based in Bridport, Dorset, in a beautiful region of the south coast of
England and normally perform three concerts each year.
Our players come from a wide
area of West Dorset, East Devon and Somerset, mostly within 25 miles of Bridport
orchestra was formed in the autumn of 1975 by the conductor Bruce Critchinson.
There are still one or two founder members playing with the orchestra,
originally the New Elizabethan Players, now known as the Bridport Chamber
have a broad repertoire embracing many composers from baroque to
40th Anniversary Concert Review
Forty years of musical delights - Bruce Upton
Since 1976 the Bridport Chamber
Orchestra has entertained us and widened our musical repertoire with
polish and enthusiasm. Last Sunday marked their 40th anniversary
What better way to start a
celebration than with Handel's "The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba",
stately and rhythmic, and the oboes sounding clearly through the string
Arturo Serna was both conductor and
soloist in Haydn's cello concerto. The slow movement was serene
and beautifully rendered, even if the final movement, played with huge
attack and gusto, rather ran away with itself. As usual, the
orchestra accompanied so sympathetically that even the quietest solo
lines were never drowned. At full volume, with brass and
woodwind, it was exciting and dramatic.
In the second half, Britten's
"Simple Symphony" was played with enthusiasm; the fiendishly difficult
pizzicato movement a bit uneven, but the other movements sounding
thoroughly professional. Finzi's "Prelude for String Orchestra"
was exquisite, a dreamy evocation of an English inter-war rural idyll.
Less familiar, but a welcome
inclusion on the programme, was a symphony by JC Bach. Toe
tapping stuff, typically baroque, and mostly jolly tunes despite being
written in a minor key.
Finally a piece of pagan
exotica to send us out into the afternoon chill 'de Falla's "Ritual
Fire Dance", and another bravura performance from Arturo.
We owe a huge debt to these
competent musicians who produce such beautiful and varied programmes
for us, also the sponsors, patrons, friends and loyal supporters who
encourage them. "Viva la musica", and here's to the next forty