REVIEW: Skipton Building Society Camerata at Christ Church, by Charles Dobson.

The Camerata, Skipton’s own professional chamber orchestra, were in sparkling form in the performance conducted by Ben Crick.

The focus of the evening was on ‘Sturm und Drang’ (roughly ‘storm and stress’), that brief but fascinating period in the 1760s and 1770s when composers across Europe experimented with a new and more direct way of expressing emotions in music.

By a neat symmetry the programme began with the ‘Dance of the furies’ from Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice and ended with Boccherini’s symphony La Casa del Diavolo (the house of the devil) which ends with an extended paraphrase of the Gluck piece.

In between we heard two contrasting pocket-sized symphonies, a symphony in G minor by Johann Christian Bach – a fine and almost totally unknown piece which has radically revised your reviewer’s view of the ‘London’ Bach as a composer of elegant trifles – and the Fire symphony of Haydn.

All this music was vividly brought to life by the Camerata’s passionate and committed playing, but there was room also for finesse and delicacy in the more relaxed moments.

For the rest of the programme the Camerata was joined by the London-based lyric soprano Charlotte Hoather. In keeping with the Sturm und Drang theme Charlotte gave us two highly-charged concert arias – miniature operatic scenes – Ebben, si Vada by J C Bach and Ah, lo Previdi by the precocious 21-year old Mozart.

Impressive as these were, the highlight of the evening for me was Gluck’s Che faro senza Eurydice, Orpheus’ gentle lament for his lost Eurydice, all the more poignant and fragile for being sung at a higher pitch than we usually hear. Skipton audiences will be hoping that Charlotte returns before long to beguile us again.

The Camerata’s next concert is due to take place on July 3 in Christ Church, Skipton. For any updates visit the website: