CBSO Mozart and Brahms review


CBSO at Symphony Hall *****
Good to see old fashioned kettledrums on stage (alongside their more modern friends) - hand tuned, shallow bowls, hard felt beaters, all to create a period sound for Beethoven's Overture Leonora No 3. Distant celebratory trumpet calls effectively heralded hero Florestan's eventual release from prison, a happy conclusion to the implied darkness heralding a disconcerting outcome.
Was 23-year-old Mozart experimenting when over 200 years ago he created his E flat major double piano concerto? What an amazing treat to hear K.365 (first CBSO performance 1928) – could Mozart and his sister Nannerl have matched our two outstanding performers of this afternoon we wonder? Dutch brothers Lucas and Arthur Jusse (21 and 24 years) tossed hair-raising phrases to and fro with apparently effortless ease, causing delight with every beautifully balanced phrase melding as one within the music; faultlessly fiery to smoothly melodic. Grins throughout the orchestra were a delight to see when we were treated to Igor Rema's tantalising Sinfonia 40, another take on Mozart as an unbelievable encore from these exceptional young men.
Conductor Olari Elts, born in Tallinn, the chief conductor of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, is well travelled, working in opera and with orchestras world-wide.
A reduced orchestra (i.e. from 4 basses . . .) gave a charming performance of Brahm's first orchestral work: Serenade in D Op 11. Reduced symphonic forces during the six movements highlighted gentle hunting horns, a bagpipe drone with many pleasing contrasts throughout, some lovely solo highlights.
Eventually Brahms braved Vienna so becoming the giant figure we now recognise.
Maggie Cotton

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