The Queen Symphony and Symphony of Psalms By Tolga Kashif and Igor Stravinsky
Hampton Choral Society
St Johns - 27 November 2018
Spirit, Spiritually and Splash
The Queen Symphony and Symphony of Psalms
By Tolga Kashif and Igor Stravinsky
Kew Wind Orchestra with the Hampton Choral Society at St John’s Smith Square, 18th November
Review by Eugene Broad
“Let’s do it, darling” is supposedly what Freddie Mercury said, before downing a shot of vodka and singing the vocals to The Show Must Go On in a single recording, shortly before his death. That vim and vigour was harnessed wonderfully by the immensely talented performers of Kew Wind Orchestra, the Hampton Choral Society, and The Hythe Singers in Tolga Kashif’s The Queen Symphony.
Just as eclectic and individual as Freddie Mercury was the musical choice presented to us, with other selected works including Igor Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms. Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms was almost painfully intense, given the power of the choir, the dexterity of the orchestra, and the atmosphere of St John Smith’s Square. A symphony split into three movements, each tackles a different Biblical psalm. Stravinsky was commissioned to compose the piece for $6,000 by Koussevitzky, his publisher, and the conductor of the Boston Symphony. This was supposedly somewhat a symbiotic relationship; Koussevitzky loving Stravinsky’s music, and Stravinsky loving Koussevitzky’s money.
But the absolute highlight of the evening had to be Kashif’s The Queen Symphony. The symphony, split into six movements arranged by mood, drew from the feel and inspiration of Queen’s songs. Even so, clear motifs, patterns, and themes were recognisable as Queen’s – solely adding to the appeal and fun of the piece in listening and finding their famous riffs and rhythms echoed or masked in orchestral form.
Read Eugene Broad’s full review at www.markaspen.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/queen-sym
Photographs courtesy of Kew Wind Orchestra
Kew Wind Orchestra with the Hampton Choral Society