The Classical Concert Chamber Orchestra might well be quite a recent ensemble – it was formed in 2006 – yet it holds a fair record of touring in the U.S. and Europe, with a fine roster of instrumentalists in its ranks. Kicking off their journey with a London press conference at the hearth of January’s coldest hours, the group embarked on a month-long tour of the UK, sweeping the island from North to South, taking all major cities under their bows.
Still, their final appearance in Croydon’s wasn’t of a sufficient remoteness to a good Londoner like me to dissuade from attending, and it was a treat to any soul making it that night to the Fairfield Hall.
Bach’s first notes stroke and the orchestra’s remarkably sharp and smooth execution instantly hit straight. The ensemble was successful in managing to preserve a good unity through the challenge of a baroque configuration (stripped of its conductor, the standing soloist leads the tempo only at rare idle sequences). It must be said that J.S. Bach’s concerto in A minor BMW 1041 carries an extremely elegant first movement, swaying and powerful, taking the whole audience to stay alert for a lasting period. I believe it is a fantastic choice as a concert opener. Another concerto in A (yet major), Mozart K. 219 and Vivaldi’s Four seasons enabled to feature contrasts of dynamics, memorable patterns, never missing to showcase a soloist’s skills.
Focused on lines and warm tones, Maestro Tigranyan’s lead and play was inevitably charming and radiant with sensitivity. Ashot dominated his subject with intense pleasure showing on him, from slower moments to stormy scales with a soothing stances of serenity. Out of the programme erupted a series of smaller pieces including Bach’s Air on the G string, arrangements on Elgar’s Salut d’Amour and Schubert’s Ave Maria.
The end was drew near and we smiled as Ashot gave back her attachée’s flowers, attempting to claim his violin from from an escaping pretty young woman. It was to say good-bye in the notes of Vivaldi’s concerto for violin in G minor RV 317.
The CCCO deserves to drag a bigger audience in front of their shoes and will, undoubtedly, keep on doing so in the prosperous years I wish and foresee on their path.