SCO Mozart at Christmas Review
Rossini’s little known opera The Silken Ladder had just twelve performances in 1812 and was quietly dropped. A private collector bought the opera’s overture and for future performances a completely different overture was played. Only in 1973 did the original overture become available again, and with this the Scottish Chamber Orchestra opened their concert.
When Mozart wrote his Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola in 1779 it was fashionable to have more than one soloist. Indeed the solists not only played their solo part (concertante) but at times played as a member of the orchestra (sinfonia).
Both Alexander Janiczek, violin, and Jane Atkins, viola, stood in front of the Orchestra. Initially Janiczek was facing and directing the players and Atkins was looking towards her companion’s side. As the work progressed they were both facing the audience, Alexander Janiczek on his shiny violin and Jane Atkins on her matt finished viola. It was fascinating to see them playing a solo part and then from time to time joining in with their colleagues. Impressive too was the positioning of the four male viola players to the front of the stage and admiringly behind Jane Atkins, their Principal. They seemed to be savouring every moment of viola prominence.
After the interval and with the violas back in the midst of the Orchestra, Alexander Janiczek directed the first of the two Mozart Marches in D and then on to the Serenade No 9 in D major - the Posthorn. In an old Salzburg tradition of musical jokes a lengthy posthorn had been borrowed for Peter Franks, the Principal Trumpet, from Edinburgh University’s Collection. It symbolised the mail-coach journey for many of the Salzburg students at the conclusion of their studies.
This was a thoroughly satisfying and enriching concert played before an enthusiastic and discerning audience.
Event: Saturday 17 December 2011 at 7.30pm