Saturday 20th June 2015 – St James Church, Taunton

Conductor – David Hedges

Haydn – Symphony no 104
Vivaldi – Concerto for two violins
Faure – Pavane
Mozart – Symphony no 40


With their usual panache, Somerset County Orchestra opened the last concert of their season with Haydn’s Symphony no.104, the London. This is a complex work, on a grand scale, and the players gave a wonderfully integrated performance. David Hedges, conducting, brought out all the details as well as thrilling climaxes. With no hesitations or fuzziness, this was large-scale orchestral playing to a very high standard.
Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Violins was on a much smaller scale, just strings and harpsichord continuo. Alex Ennis, the orchestra’s leader, and David Hedges were the soloists, David directing the ensemble where necessary. The soloists excelled in lyrical light and shade passages, and produced exciting playing in the exuberant third movement. On the whole, the orchestral strings accompanied sympathetically, although the upper strings were too soft and tentative at times.
After the interval we heard Fauré’s beautiful Pavane, with its haunting flute melody. A melancholy but serene mood was nicely portrayed, but perhaps a bit too slow and sedate.
The last piece was Mozart’s Symphony no.40, his penultimate. It needs, and it got, focussed and disciplined playing to bring out the “violence, passion and grief” of the music. The work is full of unexpected key changes, cross rhythms and unconventional stresses, all handled confidently by the players. Tutti passages full of force and energy contrasted with sweet and lyrical sections. Nothing seemed too difficult, and the audience came away uplifted and refreshed by a fabulous evening of music. Sue Goodman 21 June 2015

Saturday 16th May 2015 – Queen’s College, Taunton

Conductor – David Hedges

Schubert – Unfinished Symphony
Schumann – Konzertstuck for four horns
Delius – On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring
Beethoven – Symphony no 8















Saturday 7th March 2015 – Queen’s College, Taunton

Conductor – David Hedges    Soloist – Lorna Anderson

Smetena – ‘Sarka’ from Ma Vlast
Mozart – Serenade in Bb for 13 wind instruments
Mahler – Symphony no 4














Saturday 22nd November 2014, Centenary Commemoration Concert – St James Church, Taunton

Conductor – David Hedges    Soloist Lorna Anderson

Copland – Fanfare for the Common Man
Goodwin – 633 Squadron
Debussy – Berceuse Heroique
Gurney – Seven Meadows Song Cycle
Howells – Merry Eye 1920
Lambert – Aubade Heroique
Vaughan Williams – Symphony no 3, Pastoral