Around the World in 81 Minutes.
Manawatu Sinfonia: conductor Tim Jones.
Speirs Centre, Sunday, June 10.
Reviewed by Stephen Fisher.
As the title suggests, the Manawatu Sinfonia's family concert this year was a selection of popular classics from around the world.
However, when putting the programme together, Tim Jones chose marches, overtures and dances, all works that are well known but are all generally loud and dramatic, with much input from the percussion section.
A programme such as this provides considerable challenges for the orchestra, but they responded with spirit and a sense of occasion, while playing with excellent colour and tone throughout the afternoon, all of which ensured that the programme was very well received by the audience. Of course, there were a few "props" to help us, as the audience enthusiastically joined in on any invitation.
There was a clever presentation of Tie Me Kangaroo Down, and the selections from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite were beautifully accompanied by dancers from Danceworks.
And, of course, there was the interval invitation for the youngsters to have a turn at playing the instruments, all ensuring that there was much to interest even the very young. Jones is an enthusiastic conductor, but this was never at the expense of the music, as he captured the spirit throughout.
His music is presented with a fine sense of drama and he engaged the audience with his lively commentary. It was a pleasure to see the Sinfonia responding so well to his informal approach.
A magical afternoon for young and old alike – just what a family concert should be!
- © Fairfax NZ News