13 July 2014
Yesterday evening the Strings of the FSO performed a varied programme in the imposing surroundings of Farnborough's historic 24 foot wind tunnel. The concert was a sell-out and the audience were able to enjoy the music against the unique backdrop of the tunnel's large mahogany propeller and striking concrete structures.
The evening opened with the exquisite baroque purity of the Bach Double Violin Concerto, played most sensitively by Tessa Welford and Beverley Hull. Conductor, Ben Palmer, then introduced a Bach 'Air', suggesting that for a concert in a wind tunnel this was a most appropriate title! The first half was brought to a close with his refreshingly different interpretation of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
Following the interval, the orchestra played Elgar's hauntingly beautiful Serenade for Strings which, in the cathedral-like acoustics of the wind tunnel, cannot fail to have touched the emotions of the audience. The concert closed with Benjamin Britten's Simple Symphony, which, as Ben Palmer pointed out, is far from simple. First performed in 1934, the year before the opening of the wind tunnel, it contains the well known 'Playful Pizzicato' and echoes of Bach which forge a link with the works performed at the beginning of the concert.
As the final strains of Britten faded, the audience were invited to explore the inner recesses of the wind tunnel chambers and contemplate the aeronautical heritage which had spawned the orchestra back in 1922.
The event was captured photographically by Andy Friend-Smith and images of the evening may be found on our website Gallery.