Mozart: 250 Years Of Sheer Genius – Glasgow Royal concert Hall (19 November 2006)

The adventure continues. A Sunday matinee and I think the Classic FM crowd are out in force. Here I am at my second only proper classical recital and already I’m tutting at people clapping between movements, and belittling their taste in radio station. I think I’m getting the hang of this.

This afternoon the Mozart Festival Orchestra are giving us a selection of what can only be called Wolfy Amadeus‘ greatest hits. Not only that, but candlelit and in full period costume. Populist and gimmicky. Of course, is there anything wrong with that? I certainly wouldn’t be here if I had to actually know what I was off to see/hear.

It opens with the Overture To The Marriage Of Figaro. And, the thought is so that’s what that is. Then Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, all four movements with applause. Of course, I only know it’s in four movements because the conductor has told us so, in what seemed like a near plea to the audience. I don’t understand why this is not the done thing. Particularly with a piece like this. I almost feel like whistling and cheering when I recognise each bit. I didn’t realise just quite how familiar I am with this stuff. And, just how wonderful it is. Oh, yes, this is all working out very nicely.

And then we get the Piano Concerto No 21 In C Major (you know the one – no, you really do). And, it becomes apparent that I don’t like this so much. Similar to the Bach gig I’m not enjoying the soloist. The melody is superb, but the twiddly fiddling on the piano is getting on my nerves. I’m getting flashbacks to jazz and (dare I say it) heavy metal gigs. And, I’m getting bored.

Post interval, we’re onto another concerto (Clarinet In A Major this time). I’m slightly pensive. It’s a beautiful instrument, and played by a bloke that looks like Mark Williams. I’m still near bored to tears.

Then we’re back to the symphonics (No 40 in G Major and, you do as well) and it slots back into place. Never the heights of the opening pieces but little is.

All in, the ‘production’ is a bit cheesy (I think I’ll give the Strauss Gala featuring the dancers a miss ). Like the ‘candle light’ (lamps) there is something deeply ersatz about it all. But some of the music has seriously moved me. And, I think I’m getting a grip on what I like (no more concertos).


Written by Tony Kiernan

20 November 2006 at 10:39 pm

Posted in Gigs

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