Letter to Surrey Advertiser
On Friday (13th November) I attended the Philharmonic concert at the Cathedral on a very wet, windy hilltop. The concert began superbly with Fingal’s Cave (the wild weather outside helping to conjure up a Scottish coastal atmosphere) and got better and better. Tamsin Waley-Cohen – playing a 1721 Stradivarius violin – was outstanding and, given stringed instruments often struggle to make themselves heard against woodwind and brass in the Cathedral, Tamsin’s was an awesome performance of polish and great art. Stephen Bell and the orchestra did well to keep up and to play so sensitively too. Finally, Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony was almost unbelievably good. It is an amazing piece of music anyway but with such an excellent orchestra and such astonishing conditions (the desolation of the last movement played against howling gales) it was no surprise that Stephen Bell held the silence, long after the echo of the last note had died down, before rapturous applause broke out from the audience.