Saturday, March 12, 2011

Rosemary Joshua with the Aurora Orchestra

On Weds saw Rosy Joshua in a Mozart concert at Kings Place, with the Aurora Orchestra.  This was originally to have been conducted by Sir Colin Davis but he wasn't well enough so we had the young and dynamic Nicholas Collon.  The orchestra, perhaps especially under Collon, is very exciting and makes the Mozart quite explosive at times.  Always an interesting take though occasionally slightly perverse.

We started with the Figaro overture and then had 'Bella mia fiamma, addio... Resta, o cara', K528.  This was composed in 1787 a few days after the first performance of Don Giovanni when Mozart was staying near Prague with his friends Franz and Josepha Duschek. Josepha, a noted Soprano, locked Mozart him in the pavilion of her garden with a supply of writing materials, refusing to release him until he had writed her an aria. Mozart produced this gem but said he would destroy the MS unless Josepha could sing it perfectly at sight. Ceres has decreed that Proserpina's mortal lover Titano must die and he sings this moving lamenting scena.  The first half conluded with Symphony No. 27 in G, K199.

After the interval, another rarity, the Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K546.  This was written after Mozart was studying the music of Bach and Handel.  Being Mozart it's wonderful stuff, and the Aurora again played it in interesting ways, with much gusto.  Though of course compared to Bach, Mozart doesn't really have a mastery of the fugue form - but then who does (Beethoven, in his own inimitable way, but very different).

Rosy was back for a wonderful rendition of 'Non più. Tutto ascoltai...', K490 which is a substitute aria in Idomineo - a dialogue between Idamante and his lover Ilia, in which she purports to release him to marry Electra but he replies with declarations of undying love.  We concluded with an explosive performance of the Paris Symphony K297.

Saw Rosy backstage, and reflecting afterwards with another very musical friend of hers I realised the fundamental reason why the performances with Rosy were so much better than those without.  Accompanying a great singer forces the orchestra to breathe and take a long view of the music, whereas without her the performances, though still exciting, were rather breathless.  But a very fine evening I would not have missed for worlds, and the orchestra and conductor are well worth hearing and will go far.  But especially go when they have a great and highly musical soliost.

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