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Ensemble

Unstoppable Momentum

Masterpieces from the Austro-Germanic symphonic
repertoire, played by Derby Concert Orchestra,
reviewed by MIKE WHEELER

 

Two towering masterpieces of the Austro-German symphonic repertoire might seem too much for one evening, but Mozart's Fortieth and Beethoven's Seventh are sufficiently contrasted to not to result in overkill.

Following a nimbly-articulated curtain raiser in the shape of the overture to Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, both symphonies got taut, well-paced readings from Derby Concert Orchestra and conductor Jonathan Trout (St Peter's Church, Littleover, Derby UK, 3 March 2007). Their account of the Mozart even proposed an interesting shift in the work's usual expressive balance. Much of the weight was placed on the second movement, which served not so much to assuage the tensions set up in the first movement as to intensify them. Kept on the move, it revealed an underlying edge, dominating the performance. After that, the steady tempi for the last two movements suggested less emotional force than we generally hear.

Ensemble was not always tidy, and the horns tended to dominate the balance. No such problems in Beethoven's Seventh, where the horns' prominence is written into the music in any case. The first movement was driven by a tremendous pounding energy and there was good forward movement in the Allegretto. The scherzo was nice and springy while the finale was a powerhouse of unstoppable momentum, marred only by a tendency to accelerate still further when things got really exciting.

Copyright © 11 March 2007 Mike Wheeler, Derby UK

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DERBY CONCERT ORCHESTRA IN CHRISTMAS MOOD

DERBY CONCERT ORCHESTRA PLAYS MAXWELL DAVIES

MOZART, SCHUBERT AND BEETHOVEN IN LITTLEOVER

DERBY CONCERT ORCHESTRA

JONATHAN TROUT

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