Music at GMC

2007 Orchestral Concert

Concert: Orchestral Concert featuring
Guilmant's 1st Organ Symphony
Date: Saturday 1st December, 2007
Performers: The Orchestra of the
Bournemouth Philharmonic Society
Conductor: Sam Newgarth, MBE
Organist: Gordon Amery
CD available: Yes - please contact Music at GMC here


  1. Overture to 'Iolanthe' - Arthur Sullivan
  2. Lieutenant Kije Suite, Op. 60 (1934) - Sergei Prokofiev
    • Kije's Birth
    • Song
    • Kije's Wedding
    • Troika Song
    • Kije's Burial
  3. Capriccio Italien, Op. 45 - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  4. Symphony No. 1 for Organ & Orchestra
    - Alexandre Guilmant
    • Introduction and allegro. Largo c maestoso - Allegro - Tempo prime
    • Pastorale. Andante quasi allegretto
    • Finale. Allegro assai - Andante maestoso - Tempo prime
  5. Encore: Elegy - George Thalben-Ball

Orchestra versus Organ in Gillingham

Gordon Amery at the organ
Gillingham Methodist Church became an ideal concert hall for a large and enthusiastic audience on Saturday. The Orchestra of the Bournemouth Philharmonic Society, under its founder conductor, Sam Newgarth, MBE, treated us to a lively and well-thought-out programme.

Sullivan's Iolanthe Overture was the sparkling starter followed by Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kije Suite. The orchestra found its way around this difficult score, guided by the experienced direction of the conductor, and conveyed the changing moods and colours most convincingly. The first half ended with a delightful performance of Tchaikovsky's Capriccio Italien in which the orchestra was at its best and the audience was most comfortable with the warmth and richness of the composer's scoring.

Sam Newgarth introduces the programme
We had all been waiting for the main item of the evening - Guilmant's Organ Symphony. Here, the restored Sweetland Organ under the fingers and toes of its guardian, Gordon Amery, was pitted against the full symphony orchestra. The decibel rating was excitingly high and we were thrilled by the alternation of organ and instruments in the first movement. A pastoral second movement delighted us with softer stops from the organ and solo woodwind from the orchestra. Then, we were plunged into a rollicking final movement which ended in a blaze of D major from full organ and a properly brass-dominated orchestra. To close the evening, Gordon Amery treated us to a thoughtful and expressive encore - Thalben Ball's Elegy.

Tributes must be paid to Sam Newgarth for founding and then polishing his orchestra for many years and to Gordon Amery for giving us such a great display of organ-playing. He and his colleagues have worked so hard to restore the organ and to bring such a great series of concerts to Gillingham Methodist Church.

Review by Peter Lattimer
Page Last Updated:Monday 25th of February 2019 09:16:24 PM