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MALCOLM MILLER attended the
Sixth Annual Jacqueline du Pré Concert in London


'Variations' was the theme of the 6th Annual Jacqueline du Pré Concert at the Wigmore Hall on 28 March 2001, given with a beautifully resonant and commanding timbre by Leslie Howard, in aid of the Musicians Benevolent Fund. This yearly concert was set up in 1996 given by outstanding artists. This year was no exception, with a large audience to hear Howard's fine playing of a stimulating programme.

Mozart's Acht Variationen über Ein Weib ist das herrlischste Ding aus Der dumme Gärtner von Benedikt Schack und Franz Zever Gerl KV613 is a seldom played masterpiece in which the final variation is full of surprises, that Leslie Howard highlighted with great drama and wit. The work may gain in significance when one learns that it was composed in 1791, and that Schack and Gerl were two of the musicians in Schikanaeder's troupe at the Theater an der Wien, in whose joint opera Mozart participated (see my M&V review of 'The Philosopher's Stone').They were present at the dying master's side to sing through the completed sections of the Requiem. Like so many works of Mozart's last year however there are no traces of melancholy, rather the variations abound in joyful vitality which Leslie Howard projected with appealing clarity, though perhaps he could have injected just a bit more emphasis at places.

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Copyright © 3 April 2001 Malcolm Miller, London, UK





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