Monday, October 12, 2009

Rosalind Ventris, viola


M&G Concert at the Civic Theatre


First concert of a new M&G series, and a welcome return for the EUCO and for Tasmin Little.

The violinist was joined by EUCO viola player Rosalind Ventris for the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante. For Tasmin Little, this is the greatest of Mozart's concertos, with depth and maturity in the exquisite central movement, and a lively Commedia dell'Arte Presto. Playing her Guadagnini, an almost exact contemporary of the composer, she clearly enjoyed the rapport with the band; Rosalind, still a student and clearly a remarkable talent, contributed a dark, regal tone, especially in the Adagio.

A murmur of approval met the end of the new work, Michaela Plachka's You Gave Us Quiet: a serene sequence of modal harmonies interwoven with colourful threads of melody, disappearing into the stratosphere in the last few bars.

Completing a satisfying programme were Storm und Drang from Haydn, and an early Mendelssohn String Symphony. EUCO's performance, with Matthias Wollong directing, though it did not lack poise and assurance, and had a crisp, Vivaldi feel to the Allegro Molto, was a little short on fun, and only really excelled in the beautifully scored Andante.

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