Was it good? In one word, Yes. How good? In one word, Fantastic. Have you seen better? In one word, No. That would be what I would say if somebody asked what the BBC Philharmonic were like when they came to Kendal Leisure centre on Saturday the 17th of April 2010. I really mean it. Actually, I probably would have written a review this complimentary even if I’d only heard the first line from Mendelssohn’s Ruy Blas overture. What a beginning it was. The brass comes in with a strong yet steady start which is quickly contrasted by a beautiful pizzicato extract from the string section. It is repeated, and then the brass comes in a third time, this time with the Timpani. Now the brass and string play together, and then the overture, which was written in just three days, properly begins. What a start!

When the marvellous overture finally comes to an end, it is time for the soloist to step in and play the Fantastic Dvorak Cello Concerto which, I must admit, looks like the hardest piece ever, and this is coming from a Cellist. Did he find it hard? I’ve seen people who are strolling in the park looking less relaxed. He wasn’t boastful, but yes, very relaxed. The superb soloist, who is the professor of Cellos at the Royal College of music, began excellently yet seemed to improve. He made the cello sing as he effortlessly performed this challenging piece. He went on to the second movement exhibiting his versatility as he conveyed the movement’s tempo and mood. And to finish he played a march-like movement with familiar tunes popping up which I’m sure every member of the audience recognised but, of course, they hadn’t heard it played that well before. Overall, I thought it superb and when the music came to an end I felt like standing up and shouting at him play one of Bach’s unaccompanied suites, I’m sure he’d play that well too.

To finish the Orchestra played the ‘Pastoral’, the 6th symphony by the composer who liked trees better than people, the great Beethoven. It began with the well-known first movement; ‘Awakening of happy feeling on arrival in the countryside’ and continued until the crescendo played excellently by the orchestra. The last movement; “Shepherd’s song-glad thankful feelings after the storm” played so majestically rounded off the concert brilliantly. ‘I hope they make it an annual event! ’, I heard one person say. I agree.

Joe Davies, 12

Joe attended a Lakeland Sinfonia Concert Society concert on 17th April 2010. Nicholas Karemer conducted the BBC Philharmonic with Raphael Wallfisch on cello. The programme was Mendelssohn's Overture Ruy Blas, op.95, Dvorak's Cello Concerto in B minor, Op.104 and Beethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony no. 6 in F major, Op.68