Halle Orchestra: Mozart! Immortal Mozart!
The Bridgewater Hall, 13 February 2020
Mozart and much, much more.
For this evening’s concert the conductor was Jonathan Nott, who showed himself to be vigorous and lively and altogether excellent. The Halle orchestra went full pelt and they played:
- Schubert – Symphony No.5
- R. Strauss – Oboe Concerto
- Mozart – Symphony No.39
Schubert ‘s symphony made use of a sparse range of instruments, but here less was more. The first movement laid down the law and the rest of the movements enforced it. You heard bright and bold laughter though you could imagine (with a stretch) stray shadows before the darkness came. This symphony was first performed in 1816, when Schubert was about 20. Just over a decade later he would be dead.
Directly after the Second World War, Richard Strauss composed his Oboe Concerto, on the suggestion of an American soldier, an oboe player in civilian life. There are a few elegiac tones, which is understandable. For, after all, in 1946 Germany had been bombed to smithereens. Listening to it now, mind, you are struck by an enigmatic beauty. Disturbing, indissoluble. You are listening to a question not easily understood, a bell tolling once, the broken call (and the uncertain perambulations) of a wounded bird. Well worth a second spin, this tune. Stéphane Rancourt was brilliant on oboe.
As for the Mozart symphony, well it explains and justifies the title of concert,for a start. Also. it should be mentioned that the thirty ninth, premiered in 1788, was the first of a final trilogy of great symphonies that Mozart produced toward the end of his life. It is a masterpiece, a mix of solemnity and sunlight. The Trio toward the end features a Landler. If you were to personify this symphony, you would be looking upon a young and handsome Lord, a citizen of Heaven. Yes, an Immortal.
Details of future Halle concerts can be found here.