Lynn Cahill, the new Cathedral Arts Manager at Christ Church Cathedral, was in happy form for the Russian Chamber Orchestra. This orchestra from Kursk State University played a very popular programme in a brisk but loose style and delighted an audience who loved recognisable tunes with enthusiasm and vigour. The conductor Vladimir Coverda was also in a party mood and he just couldn’t stay still but bobbed, waltzed, and was a physical side-show of energy and enthusiasm.
This exuberance sometimes gave rise to weak sounds, infelicitous glosses and a lack of crispness. He also deviated without comment from the printed programme sequence but the audience didn’t seem to mind.
A young soprano Natalia Vakulenko had problems with an extract from Cosi Fan Tutti and La Boheme but her curious phrasing for Panis Angelicus was a show stopper and the audience applauded long and warmly.
I enjoyed the Tchaikovsky Waltz Serenade and Elegie and an additional Elgar that made a great contrast.