MARY Eade, already much loved by Taunton audiences for many fine performances, generated great enthusiasm with a barnstorming account of the Rondo Capriccioso by Saint-Saens – a virtuoso showpiece of fiendish technical difficulty as well as great beauty and excitement.

Credit is due to the orchestra for maintaining tight cohesion without a conductor in support of the soloist.
Mary then gave a deeply moving performance of the poignant theme from Schindler’s List.
Three further works completed the programme.

Rosa Mundi, by Devon-based composer Paul Lewis, is a short, tender, melancholy, yet consolatory piece for muted strings which was heard with rapt attention.

Elgar’s familiar Serenade for Strings received an interpretation full of delicacy and poise with excellent tone and ensemble, though this reviewer would have welcomed a greater sense of underlying passion as Elgar was, after all, a man of deep and powerful emotions.

No such reservation can be applied to the performance of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for String Orchestra, which was imbued with Russian soul and energy, as well as deeply appealing pathos.

The whirlwind speed and impetuosity of the last movement brought the audience to the edge of their seats and was rewarded with a well-deserved ovation.

Taunton Sinfonietta is a jewel in the crown of the town’s cultural life, and long may it continue to be so.