Durham University Palatinate Orchestra, Symphony concert – 1st December 7.30pm, Elvet Methodist Church.

Durham University Palatinate Symphony Orchestra’s first offering of the year is a synthesis of sophisticated and elegant French music. Whilst some of their repertoire may be unfamiliar to some, the charming grace with which DUPO plays these pieces makes it an extremely pleasant and easy listen.

DUPO President Franklin Taylor-Moore expressed his admiration for the orchestra:

“Everyone has put so much into these rehearsals, and the music we are performing is honestly incredible. I take my hat off to Hugo Jennings, our conductor, who has done a sterling job of putting together some truly stunning music. For fans of orchestral music this concert can be sure to offer a fantastic exploration of French repertoire, with a real mix of styles and tastes to suit any individual with a passion for romantic music. For the orchestral novice, expect rumbustious rhythms and magnificent melodies to take you on an enthralling journey around France. You will not be disappointed!”

Having attend their penultimate rehearsal for this concert, it is safe to say that this Francophile orchestra promises to live up to the enormity of their intriguing programme. The suite from Poulenc’s ballet ‘Les Biches’ combines the lightness of French music with quirky and lively rhythms, a lesser-known but true crowd-pleaser.

‘Fête Polonaise’ by Emmanuel Chabrier, in contrast, embodies French lyricism with a dramatic edge, driven forward by the musicality of conductor Hugo Jennings, as well as incredible energy from within the orchestra. Indeed, cellist Rob King commented that the orchestra is consciously working to ensure that the audience feels this energy. Leader Becky Taylor commented: “I’m really looking forward to performing the Chabrier as it’s such a lively piece!”

Ravel’s famous ‘Ma Mere L’Oye’ suite promises to be the highlight of this concert. DUPO successfully captures each of the fairy-tale narratives of each movement, from the Pavane of Sleeping to the whimsical Laideronnette, to the Fairy Garden, which showcases DUPO’s lush string section.

The entire orchestra’s enthusiasm for this concert is tangible, ensuring that this is a concert not to be missed! DUPO Chamber Orchestra will also perform on the 3rd December. Tickets are available now on the Music Durham website for both concerts.