|The stage is set:|
Exeter University Choral Society Choir and Orchestra
Marion is also well known to concert lovers. She conducts the Exeter Music Group Symphony Orchestra in regular concerts. At the end of last year she conducted Beethoven's Violin Concerto with soloist Tom Gould from the Britten Sinfonia, and only last week she conducted the extravagant Mahler Second Symphony with a full choir and two soloists. Although Marion is an impressive figure fronting the orchestra in a concert, seeing her work with an orchestra (and choir) in rehearsal was truly and education! With perfect pitch Marion can sing to the instrumentalists or singers not only what notes they should be using, but also exactly reproducing their mistakes to make the difference clear - and that includes the tenors and basses!
|Conductor Marion Wood|
In addition to conducting Marion gave a brief synopsis of what the songs were actually about, and the precise words (all sung in Latin of course!). This really helps with the appreciation of the music and, even better, she is able to give a brief explanation of exactly how the music works - in layman's terms of course!
The first song to get the Marion Wood treatment was the well known 'O Fortuna'. Within minutes the audience were able to clap out Orff's complex rhythms while becoming familiar with the meaning of the words. By the time the orchestra and choir started performing it for real, it all made perfect sense.
|a bow and a handshake for the leader:|
|High five for E-Yan Sham as soprano soloist|
Monday's little evening recital ended as it began, with the very moving 'O Fortuna', presaged by the beating of the tam-tam by a very enthusiastic percussionist.
Anyone who was there to hear Marion's exposition on the 'Carmina' will certainly want to hear the whole work when the orchestra and choir return to perform it in June. If you missed Monday's extract, you will still be able to get 'enhanced' pleasure from the June performance - there will be not only an orchestra and choir but also dancers performing the ballet version! (The Northcott Theatre is rare in this part of the country, in that it has room for all those performers on one stage.) I should also imagine that Marion will be more than willing to give us all a little more of her fascinating analysis of the music on the 'Classical Journey' as the concert date approaches.
From now on I shall always think of Marion reciting 'triangle' whenever I hear triplets. And for an off-beat - 'Sonic the Hedgehog' of course!
See you later, educator!
Exeter University Choral Society
Exeter Northcott Theatre
Weds&Thurs 15&16 June 7.30pm
Orff: Carmina Burana (Ballet)
Musical Director: Marion Wood
Dance Co-ordinator: Rebecca Payne
Tickets: £10-15 (with concession £5)
Group discount available (box office only)
Box: 01392 493493