Magical Mozart on Midsummer’s Day
Saturday, 21 June
Considering the unbelievably prolific output of one of the world’s greatest composers, despite his cruelly short life, the Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir was certainly spoiled for choice in selecting pieces by Mozart to illustrate the magic of his musical genius in its latest concert.
In performing his Solemn Vespers, the choir, accompanied by the Amici Ensemble, certainly rose to the challenge of the varying tempi of the piece, skilfully implementing Mozart’s vigorous and exuberant scoring of the first three psalms.
The interplay of soloist parts, performed by talented choir members Lorraine Mawbey, Colin Powell and Adam Gouldin, and guest soprano soloist Rhiannon Beck in the Confitebor was particularly effective, as was the ethereal quality the latter evinced in the Laudate Dominum.
Soloist Niklas Duckworth’s performance of Mozart’s Piano Concert No20 was certainly one of the highlights of the evening. With its minor tonality and rich orchestration, this is a piece of contrasts where lyricism vies with passion, and romantic melody with turbulence.
The pianist’s interpretation of the intricacies of the score was incisive and his controlled playing, especially in the rondo Romanze, displayed great finesse and sensitivity.
Another highlight of the evening was provided by Rhiannon Beck’s performance of the solo motet Exsultate Jubilate. Her mellifluous and impassioned tones were highly expressive of the joy at the heart of the work, and her rendition of the Allegro, comprising the one word “Alleluja” was a real tour de force.
Her performance, too, in Mozart’s Mass No. 1 in C Major (Coronation Mass) was equally impressive. Whether singing alone or in unison with the other soloists, she together with the YPC and the Amici Ensemble confidently scaled the imposing musical heights of this powerful and assertive sacred work.
Under the invariably authoritative and energetic baton of maestro Andrew Padmore, the YPC together with organist Thomas Moore, the highly accomplished musicians of the Amici Ensemble and guest performers brought its current season to an edifying end with a concert so magical in every respect that it held its highly appreciative audience spell-bound throughout.