Thank you DYO for another great concert. By the Light of the Moon” was such an imaginative programme. You all played with such involvement, colour, and really responded to the energetic and committed conducting of David Burchell.
The Fledermaus Overture was confident, fun, bounced from tempo to tempo and a great opener. Great string sound on the whole especially in the unison waltz moments.
Then we were treated to oboist Jonty Schmidt playing the 1st movement of Mozart’s oboe concerto. Immediately the orchestra captured a lovely classical style. The tutti sections shone, then pulled back with just the right balance to make way for the soloist. I was so impressed Jonty – lovely sense of phrasing, fabulous ornaments, the oboe playing sounded effortless and controlled – especially those notes in the high register.
A complete change of style followed with the orchestral arrangement Debussy’s Clair de Lune. Here, by and large, the orchestra captured the French sound – not too heavy, with some delicate sounds from the wind section. Lots of lovely colours throughout. There were maybe some wobbly bits coming off ties, and a couple of differences of opinion going from duplets to triplets – a hazard with a well known piece with potentially many different interpretations. That’s the beauty of live performance.
Danse Macabre was a great contrast with its mysterious opening shattered by the solo violin crashing in. Very atmospheric throughout with suitably menacing solo playing from Rose. The wind, brass and percussion really went for it. Nice bony bits too from the xylophone.
L’aube du Printemps was another programmatic piece from composition winner Megan Kyte. I thought this really showed the whole orchestra off – the wind section particularly came to the fore, the strings played sensitively. I was really impressed with the brass playing – there were some lovely controlled quiet moments earlier in the piece as well more brassy bits later on.
Thank you for choosing to play “Ring Around the Moon.’’ Slightly quirky, the dances were full of character. As always, some lovely wind moments and great rhythm section from those responsible-but the violins took charge. Sultry rhythms, rich tones and those portamento moments were just perfect…2nd violins too. I heard you all.
The grand finale was Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain. Dramatic, big orchestral sound – the strings must have really worked hard because you held your own against the wall of sound from the winds and percussion. As I was listening, the phrase “being swept along” described how I was feeling.
Thank you all for all your dedication and hard work giving us the gift of music, especially in these uncertain times. Thank you to everyone behind the scenes too. Your support is vital and much appreciated. I’m looking forward to next year’s programmes. Ngā mihi.
Review by Sandra Crawhaw (concert violinist and pianist)