An evening of superb music, brilliantly played

An evening of superb music, brilliantly played

by Tony Burke, 7 November, ClassikON

A balmy evening at Angel Place was a great setting for an appealing programme given by the well-credentialed Omega ensemble and titled “Three Parts Mozart”.
The “fourth part” started proceedings in the form of Haydn’s early symphony in D sometimes nicknamed “Le Matin”. Haydn was not a child prodigy and was 29 when he wrote this work (Mozart was 11 when he wrote his 6th symphony) and this was reflected in its maturity. A slow introduction, revolutionary at the time, certainly brought sunrise to mind and trills on the flutes and oboes a dawn chorus. Momentum was maintained with the strings more prominent. The slow movement started with an unusual rising arpeggio by the leader before morphing into a serene melody while the third movement was noteworthy for a dialogue between bassoon and cello in the trio section. A brisk flighty finale completed a work which shone bright and showed a lot of originality.
Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto deservedly is number one in many lists of popular classical works and was his last orchestral composition. Paul Mayer, who also conducted, was well up to the task of showing the beauty of this work and handled the difficult lengthy runs with aplomb. He was supported by excellent accompaniment and the timing was faultless, helped by the soloist’s dual role. Pianissimo passages, of which there are many were particularly well enunciated. What an end to the first half!
There wasn’t any falling of the standard after the interval. Paul Mayer’s conducting was energetic without being intrusive and he helped to bring out the character of Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto, an earlier work, but none the less appealing. Ben Hoadley has extensive experience of solo playing in many countries and his relaxed style suited the work which has a jaunty tuneful character. He had no problem in handling what is a notoriously difficult instrument to play and lengthy cadenzas felt appropriate while the slow movement excelled in its beauty with its familiar main theme.
The soloist returned to the rank and file for Mozart’s well-known 40th symphony. Here the orchestra really showed its mettle under Meyer and leader Andrew Haveron. It is essential that this work’s dynamism is maintained throughout and this certainly was the case here with contrapuntal passages outstanding. The intertwining of the wind section in the difficult trio was outstanding while the finale with its multiple themes, sometimes simultaneous, was simply superb.
Applause was deafening and prolonged and rightly so – an evening of superb music brilliantly played and not a note out of place.