Autumn Concert of the Orchestra of the Canongait Review

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Orchestra of the Canongait
Mendelssohn’s Son and Stranger overture, Mozart Piano Concerto No 22 and Haydn Symphony No 104.
Robert Dick (conductor), Helena Buckmayer (piano)
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The Orchestra of the Canongait under its founder and conductor, Robert Dick, for their Autumn Concert contributed to the bicentenary of two prominent composers, Mendelssohn who was born in 1809, and Haydn who died in 1809.

Mendelssohn's overture to his opera Heimkehr aus der Fremde (Son and Stranger) was composed when he was 20 and pays tribute to his parents' silver wedding anniversary.

Helena Buckmayer tackled Mozart's challenging and sophisticated but not so often heard Piano Concerto No 22 K482 in E flat major. For the first few minutes I wondered whether the piano was up to the job because Helena, a talented and experienced performer, did not look comfortable. Indeed there seemed little eye contact between pianist and conductor from my vantage point. As we moved through, enjoying the orchestra's clarinet in place of Mozart's earlier choice of oboe, into a graceful but melancholic Andante, Helena took a much more confident charge of the piano to give us a thoroughly safe if uninspiring performance.

Of all Haydn's symphonies we heard the four movements of the last one he wrote, number 104. Composed in 1795 it is known as the London Symphony where it was premiered that same year. Haydn was thrilled not just with how well it was received but how much money he made from it at its first performance. We were given an equally well received performance from an orchestra of great talent and enthusiasm.

The evening's choice of music was interesting because it contained seldom heard pieces. There are concerts where just a few spoken words by way of introduction add to their enjoyment and perhaps this is what was lacking.

Event: Saturday 10 October 2009, 7.30pm