City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Review: Chloe Hanslip Plays Mozart

By Barnaby Miln - Posted on 23 December 2007

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The Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Overture to The Bartered Bride, Mozart’s Violin Concerto No 3, Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances op 72
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra,Chloe Hanslip
Running time: 

In this 16 November 2007 concert, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra was under the baton of the 26 year old Jakub Hrusa who was born in the Czech Republic and is currently the Principal Conductor of the Prague Philharmonia.His energetic conducting of Smetana’s Overture to The Bartered Bride immediately brought the orchestra to life for this the overture of the composer’s greatest operatic hit.

A smaller orchestra, with its conductor using a more restrained technique, accompanied Chloe Hanslip for Mozart’s Violin Concerto No 3. This is one of only five concertos written by Mozart and allows the solo part every opportunity to excel and Chloe did not disappoint. Using the full length of her bow she was in command of her violin and demonstrated too by her movements her integration with the orchestra’s accompaniment. Yet Chloe is just 20 and already a star. She was the winner of the Young British Classical Performer at the 2003 Classical Brits and has gone on to play at major venues with top orchestras around the globe. This Edinburgh audience was highly delighted with her performance.

After the interval, with a larger orchestra restored, we enjoyed Dvorak’s The Noon-day Witch. This is one of four Erben tone-poems first performed in London under Henry Wood’s baton in 1896. The ballad tells of a mother’s threat of the arrival of the Noon-day Witch to take her child away; then the arrival of the witch, finishing with the father’s return to discover that his child was dead.

The concert concluded with Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances op 72. We heard five dances, the first a Slovak shepherd’s dance with plenty of brass and percussion. The second from Moravia, based on walking and turning, from intense and melancholic violins. We listened to the plucking of all the strings until the woodwind have their turn, before the dance finishes in hushed reflection.

On to a Czech leaping dance with weighty strings and woodwind roulades chattering above leading to a fine clarinet solo effecting an air of mischief. It ends with giants leaps of percussion. Dance number four depicted dark Slavic tones with woodwind chords and a warmer response from the strings. Fanfares began the fifth. The tumultuous ride of the Serbian and final dance was interspersed with delicate woodwind solos. There was a lively end.

The RSNO was at its best and showed that they were thoroughly enjoying a youthful evening.