Review: Ilkley Philharmonic Orchestra, All Saints Church, Ilkley, Sunday,
March 3, 2024

Rossini’s Overture to the Barber of Seville, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto
in D and the famous ‘Clock’ Symphony of Josef Haydn formed a delectable
programme for Ilkley Philharmonic’s winter concert.
The arrival on Ilkley’s thriving musical scene of John Anderson’s second
new orchestra is restoring repertoire generally passed over by the larger
symphonic ensembles. The programming of a Haydn symphony is a case
in point, on which more later.
Gioachino Rossini’s bustling curtain raiser does not contain a single theme
from his most famous opera. Rather the piece is a showcase for this
composer’s trademark orchestral crescendo. Ilkley Philharmonic played
with verve and the wind sections in particular covered themselves with

Violinist Andy Long who is an associate leader of the Orchestra of Opera
North, made his entrance to play the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. This is
one of the fastest and most technically demanding of romantic concertos,
for both soloist and orchestra. Leopold Auer, to whom Tchaikovsky
dedicated the work, disputed that he had described it as ‘unplayable’.
Andy’s seemingly relaxed demeanour belied his virtuosity and lyricism as
he scaled the stratospheric heights of this much-loved concerto. John
Anderson and his orchestra were admirably responsive partners. A pity
that the irritating ring tone of a mobile phone twice broke the spell cast by
Andy’s 1st movement solo cadenza.
Haydn’s symphonies are gloriously optimistic. No 101 in D is one of the
second group of his six London symphonies. The ‘Clock’ moniker is
derived from an incessant tick-tock beat in the 2nd movement. John
Anderson and the Ilkley Philharmonic gave a stylish performance, like a
blast of fresh air through this ancient church. An appreciative audience
rose to its feet.

Ilkley Philharmonic Orchestra’s next concert at All Saints, Ilkley, is on
Sunday 9th June at 7.30pm.