An impressive and beautiful rendition of Tchaikovsky’s music, performed with great talent by the Sussex Symphony Orchestra. The performance itself was emotionally evocative whilst the experience was quaint and warming – an ideal combination.
Tchaikovsky’s diverse works were showcased in a performance divided into two sections. The sound was flawless and captured wonderfully Tchaikovsky’s deep and stirring emotional sections, and their infamous melancholic effect. It was sprinkled with powerful and masterfully built crescendos – the sensational quality that Tchaikovsky is perhaps most famous for.
In the first section there was a truly exceptional cello solo by Pavlos Carvalho. It captured and created a profoundly emotional atmosphere and was a joy to listen to. I closed my eyes and floated off into an almost meditative state. The second section was divided into four sections with different emotional qualities which built towards a loud and stirring crescendo as the finale. We were taken on a journey from graver strains to an uplifting climax. The orchestra here stylishly presented Tchaikovsky’s colossal range.
The setting was perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the performance – St. Bartholomew Church provided a sublime backdrop. A glorious array of candlelight surrounded the orchestra, and the church itself lent the show a kind of reverent and spiritual twinge. The tall ceilings and magnificent panel, statues and windows make the church a fantastic venue for cultural activities of this kind. It’s also nice to see a religious space like this put to cultural use, giving it a utility and vitality that clerical spaces often lack.
The performance attracted a largely older audience as classical musical often tends to. There were however, a number of younger audience members dotted around who seemed equally moved by the music. The emotionality and diversity of the music made it a performance accessible for people of all ages.