Many thanks to all who have come and supported us since our beginnings in Sept 09.
If you had to choose just one day, what would it be?
Horse riding, conducting an orchestra, driving a lorry - just a taste of what people living with serious illness choose to do given just one day is depicted in a new short film, Days.
The positive and uplifting film for the Willow Foundation has been narrated by award winning actor John Hurt and features members of Harmony Sinfonia.
Saturday 9th March 2013 at the St Peter's Church, Wickham Rd, Brockley
Gershwin - An American in Paris.
Bizet - Roma.
Vaughan Williams - Symphony no 2 (London). Flyer Programme
Read a review of this concert.
Saturday 2nd December 2012 at the St Peter's Church, Wickham Rd, Brockley
Beethoven - Egmont Overture.
Bruckner – Symphony No. 4.
Elgar – Serenade for Strings. Flyer Programme
Sunday 16th September 2012 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Burnt Ash Hill, Lee.
Brahms: Symphony No.2
Dvorak: selection from Slavonic Dances
Sibelius: Intermezzo from Karelia and Valse Triste
In aid of the Jimmy Mizen Fund. Flyer
Saturday 30th June 2012 at the St Peter's Church, Wickham Rd, Brockley
Williams – Harry Potter Suite
Nielsen – Aladdin
Delibes - Coppelia
Humperdinck – Hansel and Gretel (excerpts)
Ravel – Mother Goose (excerpts)
Saturday 24th Mar 2012 at the St Peter's Church, Wickham Rd, Brockley
Shostakovich Symphony No.12
Katchaturian excerpts from Spartacus
Wagner Rienzi Overture Flyer Programme
Saturday 19th Nov 2011 at the St Peter's Church, Wickham Rd, Brockley
Overture, from Beatrice and Benedict - Hector Berlioz
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Op 35 - Pyotr Tchaikovsky - soloist Simon Hewitt Jones
Legends, 'Lemminkainen Suite' Op 22 - Jean Sibelius Flyer Programme
Saturday 2nd July 2011 at the St Peter's Church, Wickham Rd, Brockley
Francis Poulenc: Babar the Elephant (narrator - Janet Ellis), Camille Saint-Saens: Danse Macabre, Modest Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition Flyer Programme
Saturday 2nd April 2011 at the St Peter's Church, Wickham Rd, Brockley
Borodin - Symphony no 2, Enescu - Roumanian Rhapsody no. 1, Kabalevsky - The Comedians, Arutiunian - Trumpet Concerto (soloist: Robert Smith) Flyer Programme
Saturday 20th Nov 2010 at the St Peter's Church, Wickham Rd, Brockley
Carmen Suites, Richard Strauss - 4 Last Songs (soloist - Lynsey Docherty), Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade Flyer Programme Review
Saturday 3rd July 2010 at the Church of St Mary Virgin, Lewisham.
A concert of Music from the Movies, featuring the children of John Stainer School. Flyer Programme
Saturday 27th March 2010 at the Church of St Mary Virgin, Lewisham Flyer Programme
Many thanks to Ian Chown for the following review of this concert.
I have to admit to not having set foot inside St Mary the Virgin, Lewisham's historic parish church, before. It looked an interesting church from the outside, with a mixture of periods and styles of architecture - but not that large. Not large enough to contain a full-sized symphony orchestra and audience… or so I thought...more
St Mary's is like the Tardis in being bigger inside than outside, so the Harmony Sinfonia, south-east London's newest orchestra, managed to fit inside with room to spare.
The acoustics of St Mary's are not bad either - fortunate as the works in Saturday's concert were all big-boned pieces, needing some air around them to match the scale of the orchestration.
Under the able baton of founder and musical director Lindsay Ryan, the HS got off to a great start with Carl Maria von Weber's Overture to Der Freischütz. The richness of the orchestral sound was immediate from the start. Nice playing from the quartet of horns gave a taste of more things to come from them later. The string tremolo sections were very vivid, especially from the large cello section. I would specially mention some lovely solo violin passages from the leader Angela Balint.
Brahms's Variations on a Theme by Haydn are sometimes referred to as just the St Anthony Variations, as there is doubt as to whether Joseph Haydn actually wrote the divertimento movement which they quote from. Apparently the Variations are one of the first set composed specifically for full orchestra, so they are a good choice of piece to show off all the different orchestral sections in turn.
Lindsay set off the initial Theme with a fresh brisk tempo that seemed just right, and allowed plenty of space for varied tempi as the variations followed. The ten movements provided too many opportunities for good playing to mention them all. There was nice woodwind in Variation 1, and more good work from the horns in Variations 3 and 6. Variation 5 with minor key interplay between woodwind and the strings, revealed slight problems with balance, in an orchestra that was light in numbers of strings, particularly violins, but with a full and able complement of wind players. Variation 7 could also have benefited from greater numbers to generate a massed strings sound. But there was some lovely muted violin playing in the fast Variation 8.
Mahler symphonies are all epic in scale. To perform his First Symphony at only the second concert of a newly formed mainly amateur orchestra in a small(ish) south-east London church is an ambitious feat. But I must admit to being swept away by a tremendous performance. (Trouble was I enjoyed it so much I stopped bothering to take notes for a review!).
All four movements were paced well. Big works like this need breadth of expression, and room for extremes of tempo as well as dynamics. Everything worked well, up to the magnificent final climax, with all eight horns standing and woodwind raised high.
My only quibble was over the occasional inevitable problems of balance. In a symphony orchestra with quadruple woodwind and eight French horns, but only five first violins, balance cannot help being a bit of an issue. More violins would have helped in the eerie opening of the first movement. The second movement's Ländler had a good strong start from the strings, but the central Waltz section would also have benefited from more violins. What they lacked in quantity, the violins made up for in quality, and the section for muted violins towards the end of the third movement again produced some lovely playing. The horns and the other heavier brass had a field day, making the most of the opportunities Mahler gives them. And I could find no fault with the massed woodwind. I particularly enjoyed the playing in the third movement, with the endlessly varied combinations of instruments, from the solo double bass introduction onwards.
If I have one remaining quibble, it is over intrusive flash photography.. I've often wondered why people take pictures during the loud bits! Do the performers look more excited? But then I reflected… This concert is exciting. A few bright flashes could make it even more so! Ian Chown.less