I was excited about seeing for the first time Firebird Orchestra. I am subscriber of their mailing list and once a month they send an email with information about the music they are going to be perform in the next concert. Theres emails are the best one among all of those I receive. Delightful, well written and to the point. The programme was quite interesting, so expectations were quite high. Did it meet expectations?
It was a pity that the cold and snow prevented many people to attend to this wonderful concert from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at the Royal Festival Hall. OAE partners in crime were conductor Ádám Fischer and mezzo Stéphanie d’Oustrac both in splendid form. The first half of the concert was devoted to Mozart mixing arias from La Clemenza di Tito in between and after Prague symphony. The symphony was played with extreme accuracy while still taking risks with sharp entrances and layering.
New concert from the London Chamber Orchestra series. I was shocked by the orchestra and the conductor waiting on the stage for a member of the royal family to enter the hall and seat down. In a concert the highest authority is the conductor, and is the only one to be waited for. More shocking was having most of the audience standing while that person from royal family was entering. I have seen people on some other concert halls standing up because a national anthem was played, but not for someone walking in.
Miah Persson is a wonderful soprano that has chosen a intelligent career path rather than taking any role offer from any big opera house. She, Malcom Martineau at the piano, started the recital with a selection of Haydn English Canzonettas. That was a perfect light beginning to warm up the voice and the audience. Then the house special: Mozart. A set of 6 German lieder and the magic Italian song K579 Un moto di gioia.
After the Piemontesi Mozart concert from the day before, more Mozart piano music: this time it was Piano Concerto No. 22 with Llŷr Williams as soloist and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Hilary Davan Wetton (the man with the longest baton in UK). Although it was a nice performance I found sort of a discrepancy between the classical soft-and-sweet Mozart that the orchestra was playing with light dynamics and the darker and more revolutionary that Williams played on the solo parts, with kind of messy cadenzas.
This review is going to be full of rants. So let me enumerate them: 1: Best orchestra in the world According to British musical press Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is the best orchestra in the world. Yeah, I known that the panel for such ranking was international… but it was selected by a British medium. WTF. Because maybe choosing Berlin Philharmonic or Vienna Philharmonic or even Chigago SO was too mainstream they decided that the best one was the RCO.