Majesty and magic at the Stump as the Sinfonia stars

Nigel Morley (right) conducts the Boston Sinfonia at St Botolph's Church (The Stump), Boston.
Nigel Morley (right) conducts the Boston Sinfonia at St Botolph's Church (The Stump), Boston.

Boston Sinfonia 20th Anniversary Concert with Samantha Ward (pianist), St Botolph’s Church (The Stump), Boston

Boston Stump has never had a sound in it quite as magnificent nor resplendent as that of the 90-strong Boston Sinfonia who did Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 such justice on Saturday night.

While most of the Lincolnshire population were biting fingernails as they watched England play Russia in Marseille on the opening weekend of Euro 2016, Nigel Morley was conducting the Boston Sinfonia at a 20th anniversary concert perfectly timed for the Queen’s Official Birthday.

The opening segment of the concert was an opportunity for piano soloist Samantha Ward to indulge in leading the orchestra through Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, described the programme as the German composer’s “most lyrical piano concerto”.

Samantha caught the distinct nuances of Beethoven’s muscial imagination in her piano playing as the orchestra swayed from its supporting to leading role, according to the concerto itself.

After the interval, the glorious might of Gustav Mahler’s debut, “Titan” Symphony was unleashed on an unsuspecting, but nevertheless awe-inspired audience as brass, percussion, string and woodwind sections united in perfect harmony.

As Graham Armer, chairman of the Boston Sinfonia Management Committee, wrote in his programme notes: “It is clearly remarkable that someone should believe that a full-blown professional symphony orchestra could be established in a small borough like Boston.”

Review by Winston Brown