Review - 12 Jun 2022

Concert joyful, energetic

The joy of coming together was palpable among the large audience at Sunday's Bach & Beyond matinee concert.

Review by Brenda Harwood - The Star : DSO's Matinee Series 'Bach and Beyond', Sunday, June 12, King's and Queen's Performing Arts Centre

The joy of coming together was palpable among the large audience at Sunday's Bach & Beyond matinee concert.

The Dunedin Symphony Orchestra gave a sparkling performance of a varied programme, under the baton of conductor Brent Stewart. Filling the role of concertmaster was NZSO principal second violin Amy Brookman, standing in at short notice for DSO concertmaster Tessa Petersen.

In a concert designed as a celebration for players and the audience alike, it was fitting individual players and sections had their time to shine.

First up was principal flute Luca Manghi, performing as soloist in a reconstructed version of J.S. Bach's Concerto in E minor for Flute.

The short, three-movement piece was filled with virtuosic passages, which Manghi handled with grace and verve, supported by the orchestra and David Burchell on harpsichord.

Next, the orchestra's string section stepped in, presenting Mozart's delightful Divertimento in D major for Strings. A light and fun piece, filled with Mozart's musical wit and lyricism, the Divertimento showcased the strings at their most nimble and joyful.

In the final piece of the first half, a nine-piece woodwind and brass ensemble took the stage alone to perform Gounod's entertaining Petite Symphonie. With the melody bouncing cheerfully among the oboes, clarinets, and flute, anchored by the bassoons and French horns, the jaunty work was a joy.

The concert's second half was devoted to the "master of melody" Franz Schubert's Symphony No.3 in D major, performed by the full orchestra. In a high-spirited performance, urged on by Stewart, the audience matched the youthful exuberance of its 18-year-old composer. The final movement, a frantic tarantella was particularly fun.

All in all, Sunday's matinee was a wonderful reminder of all that is special and precious about live music, both for audiences and the players. Bravo!

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