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Published date: July 11, 2019
Last modified: July 11, 2019

Young Critics Review 2019 – The Mozartists (by Sophie A Nock)

The Mozartists – Mozart’s Travels

In his short life, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart travelled far, going all around Europe with his parents and later alone. This concert follows his extensive travels, taking us from London to The Hague to Paris to Munich, Vienna, Prague and finally Rome.

Setting
The Three Spires Cathedral, Lichfield, was the perfect place for this masterful performance. The sound travelled brilliantly, and was amplified by the acoustics of the Cathedral, while ambient lighting creating a breath-taking effect.

London – Symphony No.1 in E flat major
This piece was written in London when Mozart was only eight. He composed this Symphony because his Father was ill, and him and his sister were subsequently forbidden from playing the piano, so he composed instead. It was a wonderful opening to the night.

The Hague, Munich, Prague – Three arias
Louise Alder, Soprano, had clear diction and highly impressive breath control. She was very confident and expressed the pieces well. Her ornaments were accurate and livened the piece brilliantly.

Paris – Concerto in C major for Flute and Harp
This was my personal favourite of the Concert. The Flute and Harp played gentle solos and were not overpowered by the orchestra. Though the combination of Flute and Harp is unusual, it worked perfectly and was a delicate but beautiful match. The Flautist had excellent breath control, and they both played confidently and enthusiastically. When I spoke to Oliver Wass, the Harpist, in the interval, he told me “I just close my eyes and guess the notes” which is an interesting and ill-advised method, but he seems to be successful with it.

Vienna – Horn Concerto No.4 in E flat major
This was Mozart’s first Viennese work, written for his friend Joseph Leutgeb in 1773. Strong and confident horn played enthusiastically. Not overpowered by the strong Orchestra in the background. Played on a traditional horn with no valves, only movement of the hand down the bell can change the notes from plain harmonic. Wonderful trills with an excellent memory for detail. Ending with an exciting and dramatic fanfare.

Rome – Symphony No.10 in G major
Phrases were often echoed between instruments, creating a bouncing mental illusion of falling down a long, enclosed tunnel. Accurate and happy.

Overall
The playing was smooth and dynamics were even throughout, with all instruments at a level dynamic and not overpowering each other. There were no spread-starts, and it was an amazing performance.

By Sophie A Nock (age 12)