REVIEWS & COMMENTS
Concerts on 5/3/10 and 29/5/10
Feb '09 Concert (4/5)
"A concert by the Charities Philharmonia, under Michael Alexander Young,
is a promise of fresh air breathed into whatever classic work they're playing...
The conductor drew playing that was laced with the heat of the composer's
passion... The exuberance of this immensely talented group of musicians
approached brashness at times but, with an expansiveness matching Sibelius'
heartfelt vision, it was no wonder the audience greeted the heady conclusion
with a roar of approval.
Dec '08 Concert (5/5)
“The programmes of the Charities Philharmonia have been
anything but conventional, with the largely young personnel of this Orchestra
tackling, under their very talented and commanding conductor Michael Alexander
Young, some of the most difficult works in the repertoire… The programme at St
John's, Smith Square on 4 December was no exception, being crowned by a
performance of The Rite of Spring that was absolutely outstanding. The rich
acoustic of St John’s is ideal for the overwhelming power and sensitivity which
lies within this extraordinarily original masterpiece, every element of which
was admirably conveyed. "
"Another fantastic concert from Charities
Philharmonia...As well as a star turn from Tamsin Waley-Cohen in Prokofiev's
early Violin Concerto, there was also a colossal and relentless
performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring...The final word should go to
Michael Alexander Young, a conductor who demonstrated that although this piece
was written for a full ballet company, it can be danced by one."
June '08 Concert (5/5)
"...The idea of a "charity orchestra" put me in mind of an
anodyne evening of soppy and sloppy hits. This wasn't the case. This Orchestra proved to be a fire-breathing ensemble capable of
almost anything ... The orchestra was fairly subdued at first, but when they got
hold of the main theme for the first time they rocketed into the most
heart-soaring, reckless playing I've ever heard. If music from the Romantic
period is supposed to sacrifice pristine logic for the benefit of blind emotion,
then this was a perfect performance."
October '07 Concert
"...this worthy aim is backed up by fine
musicianship under the inspiring baton of Michael Alexander Young and
their autumn concert saw a programme of Austro-German pieces superbly played by
these predominantly youthful musicians... While appearing quite contained on the
podium, Young led an impassioned performance that sent shivers down the spine...
The orchestra's articulation of the various episodes from Beethoven's pastoral
adventure was crystal clear and with some lovely work from the woodwinds in
particular, this fresh approach to a well-worn symphony was a joy to hear."
June '07 Concert
Alexander Young and his players caught the mood of Debussy’s
impressionist masterpiece to perfection...An uplifting evening, for performers and audience alike."
“Seldom do you find such combination of youth, musical ability and purity
of meaning behind an occasion…this has been a perfect start to our London
“I went to the concert on 2nd June and thought it was one of the best I have ever been to. We were most impressed by the clarity and passion of the orchestra and by the acoustics of the venue which led to being able to hear details which we had missed when listening to recordings or other live orchestral music.
We live nearly 100 miles from London, and were so impressed that we shall make sure to attend future concerts whenever we can.
It was a wonderful evening. Thank you to all concerned.”
“It's some time since we enjoyed a concert so much! An interesting,
varied programme, wonderfully performed”.
“Tonight (the concert) was the most magical performance of the Debussy we
have ever heard live.”
“I wish Charities Philharmonia held more concerts, I have never heard a
concert organised for charitable causes of this standard before...truly
captivating – will definitely come again”.
"Though the players in the Charities Philharmonia are only in their
twenties, their performance of the great Symphony No. 7 (also known as
"Leningrad") by Shostakovich was a triumph by any standard..." [4/5]
“I didn't have a pen on me last night at St John's Smith Square so I couldn't fill in your questionnaire but I really wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the concert. I have seldom seen/heard a concert given with such verve, excitement and accomplishment. The musicians played for all they were worth with such skill, sensitivity and feeling it really made the whole evening (and in particular the Leningrad) a unique and moving experience. I've had the Leningrad on CD for some years but have never heard it played live before. Hearing it 'for real' simply blew me away - a pity the CP haven't made a recording yet! Please do add me to your database, I will certainly be supporting your orchestra in the future, and once more thank you for a simply wonderful evening - please pass on my words to the musicians if you think fit. By the way, I found out about you from The Independent magazine listings only a few hours before the concert!
All the very best for the future”
“This evening has been more than just a splendid and highly accomplished
concert – it has been a truly uplifting experience.”
“The Music Director showed deep musical insight and elicited an inspired
"It is very moving to see such talented young professionals put themselves
forward in this way, giving their heart and soul for both the cause and the
music – I must say I was overwhelmed by the sheer commitment and passion on
display last night."
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