• Joe

When an orchestra came to Southdown

The sounds of an energetic stringed instrument orchestra swept through St Barnabas Church at Southdown in May. Called Lundi Bleu, the twenty-four-piece Dutch orchestra was on tour in Bath for a few days, hosted by the Bath Fringe Festival.

All of the superbly talented musicians were from Amsterdam and between thirty and forty years of age. The Southdown church has the height to give it good acoustics. It provided a striking setting, with the deep hues of its big stained-glass window depicting Christ descending from the cross and the nails falling away.

The audience appeared to be well immersed in the melodies, with pieces ranging from the dramatic and vigorous, to contemplative and perhaps even haunting tunes at times. Several of the pieces were Dutch, several English, and one was Estonian. One of the pieces had been composed only two weeks earlier.

It's a novelty for an orchestra to play at Southdown but at the end of the concert Vicar Catherine Sourbut said, "We would love to host a quality music event like this again." Then she prayed a blessing over the musicians who were due to play at Christ Church, Julian Road, two days later.

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