An amiable, undemanding programme, a pleasing soloist, the Bulawayo Municipal Orchestra under Hugh Fenn mostly in good form – all this added up to a good start for the Sunday afternoon proms.
Pianist Lilian Duff refused to wallo in the opportunities that the Grieg Concerto offers for romantic excesses. But with her care over detail, her niceties of phrasing, and meaningful tone values, she gave the concerto a freshness that many virtuoso accounts lack.
It was not a “big” conception, but the virtues of her playing were positive. One would like to hear her again.
No doubt all who have heard the recording of the Hoffnung Music Festival, sat tensely waiting for the orchestra to burst into the Tchaikovsky. In fact the accompaniment was exceptionally good.
Here, and in the Nell Gwyn dances by Edward German, the orchestra played with confidence and precision. The Light Cavalry overture and Bizet’s Jeux d’Enfants were not always so predictably right, though the muted strings in the latter made a pleasing sound.
Mr. J.F. Chalmers Park ably conducted Moszkowski’s three Spanish Dances, while Mr. Fenn filled in at the piano.