King’s Lynn Festival: No Euroscepticism here

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European Union Chamber Orchestra – Lynn Corn Exchange

A rapt Corn Exchange was treated to some spellbinding music with the return of the European Union Chamber Orchestra (EUCO) on Tuesday night as part of the King’s Lynn Festival. The first half of the concert featured genial trumpet virtuoso Crispian Steele-Perkins, who delighted the audience with some quirky pieces featuring instruments from his extensive collection of antique trumpets (appropriately enough for the man famous for playing the theme music on The Antiques Roadshow).

First of all, playing a very elongated instrument, he performed a suite of music compiled from the operas of Handel. He followed this with Mozart’s Serenade in D-Major, using a trumpet from 1780 and a posthorn, that must have been 5ft long (the same size as a bugle, but in less handy shape”).

“Now back to sanity,” said Crispian as he returned to more a more conventional horn to play Haydn’s trumpeted concerto in E-flat major, “the greatest trumpet concerto of the lot” as he declared.

A dazzling piece-de-resistance thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.

The second half of the concert featured two pieces. A new work by Jane Wells, Two Wings And A Prayer, performed by the 19-strong EUCO under the conductorship of director Hans-Peter Hofmann, with members of the Norfolk County Youth Orchestra. This was a haunting, intriguing piece in which the youngsters, held their own superbly.

The evening finished with a wonderful rendition of Hayden’s Symphony No64 in A-Major Tempora Mutantur, the largo being a particular highlight before the rousing finale.

EUCO have been regular visitors to the King’s Lynn Festival in recent years and fully deserve the following they have built up. A decent audience (about three-quarters full) certainly were a little less Eurosceptic after this performance.

Mark Leslie