Ensemble 360 at Portsmouth Grammar School

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Phew! My legs wouldn’t have lasted two minutes!

One of the main works in this Portsmouth Festivities concert was commissioned from American-born composer Stephen Montague for Olympic year, as a concert work and to be used as a warm-up for an exercise class. Ha! Entitled Bolt From The Blue, the music goes with Usain-like energy and urgency, often like a steam train at full power but with a subtle range of sonorities.

Ensemble 360, previous visitors to Portsmouth as Music in the Round’s resident group, played the new work with energy and character.

The busy programme had other Olympic connections, perhaps the most striking being Janacek’s Music For Indian Club Swinging, which carried echoes of Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances as played with utter mastery by pianist Tim Horton.

The concert’s outstanding masterpiece was Mozart’s Quintet for piano and wind instruments, K452, veering between operatic aria and concerto-like chastity in another fine performance.

A fine concert, but dreadfully attended.