The Mozartists (1768) (Wigmore Hall, 23 January 2018)
Classical Opera/The Mozartists
Ian Page conductor
Katy Bircher flute
Chiara Skerath soprano
Classical Opera does, as the name suggests, specialise in music of the Classical period and does it very well. You might remember my and thadieu‘s enthusiastic accounts (as well as Leander‘s) of a Cadogan Hall 2016 performance of Jommelli’s Il Vologeso – it was them that done it.
They’re also going through Mozart’s oeuvre, one year at a time. This time it’s the year 1768, when Wolfie was 12 and, opera-wise, wrote La finta semplice, here presented via its not too shabby overture and the Amoretti aria. It’s not just Mozart but a wider look at his time period as well, with works by other composers from the mid to late 18th century.
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
Symphony No. 26 in D minor HI:26 ‘Lamentatione’
Niccolò Jommelli (1714-1774)
Fetonte Ombre che tacite qui sede
Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782)
Flute Concerto in D major WC79
Lo speziale HXXVIII:3
Amore nel mio petto
Salamelica, Semprugna cara
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
La finta semplice K51
Amoretti, che ascosi qui siete
Johann Adolf Hasse (1699-1783)
Piramo e Tisbe Perderò l’amato bene
Johann Baptist Vanhal (1739-1813)
Symphony in D minor
As expected, Classical Opera were excellent and Ian Page got a very “surround sound” from them, with a deft merging of the different sections of the orchestra whilst at the same time allowing them space to breathe and make themselves heard (quite muscular at times). In other words, the opposite of the porridge-sound.
This was one of the best attended shows at Wiggy, though the troops thinned a bit after the intermission (luckily, the tall chap in front of me was among them). Skerath excelled, I thought, at Hasse’s Perderò l’amato bene, where she used some superb light weight trilling and the aria seemed a perfect fit for her gentle soprano voice.
Ian Page chose his soloists well, the both of them in possession of particularly fine ways with the trills. Being primarily a fan of vocal music I admit I don’t always “get” solo instrumentals but in Bircher’s case something clicked. It is perhaps that all winds are up my alley as opposed to, say, the piano, but I could follow very well, in a similar way to how I would the voice.
A lovely evening that invited the listener to further explore this engaging period of Western classical music, with the last piece hinting at the things to come in further decades.
Posted on January 30, 2018, in classical period, mozart, sopranos, wigmore hall and tagged j.a. hasse, johann baptist vanhal, johann christian bach, joseph haydn, niccolo jommelli, wigmore hall. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.