Fire and water at the Theatre
Guest conductor Simon Preston and the Milton Keynes City Orchestra brought an intriguing concert to the Theatre last Sunday. A thoroughly involved and attentive audience heard a rare performance of Handel's complete Water Music, played with fire by the appropriately small, select group of performers. Originally written for George's I's progress along the Thames, the twenty or so short pieces, mostly in the form of dances, had the feet tapping and brought some welcome 18th century gaiety. The orchestra's principal oboist, Graham Salter, performed a concerto by Bach on another rarity, the oboe d'amore. This soft, plangent instrument was a favourite of a much later composer, Richard Strauss, and Salter successfully pulled at the heart strings of an appreciative audience. The second soloist was the beautiful and striking Danish flautist, Janne Thomsen, who gave a lively and gripping performance of another of Bach's works, the ever-popular second suite for flute and orchestra. The Theatre's resident professional orchestra once more showed imagination and flair in a delicious evening of sparkling music.
Reviewer: Roy Tipping