Virtuous Sinfonia show

Review by Brenda Lane

It was a small but appreciative audience that gathered in the Sam Newsom Music Centre on a foggy afternoon to hear Boston Sinfonia in a concert of 18th century music beginning with a William Boyce Sinfonia.

The Boyce was given a properly well-balanced performance in true Baroque style – the two outer movements marched and bounced along.

Rebecca Hewes was the soloist in the popular Haydn Cello Concerto in C Major. The intimate setting brought the soloist so close to her audience that all must have sensed her pleasure in performance, as she coped with the virtuous leaps and fast repeated notes. There was real joy in passages where the cello and orchestra follow one another in imitation and the slow movement was played with warmth and serenity.

After the interval we were transported to Elysium with Gluck’s Dance of the Blessed Spirits from his opera Orpheo. Gill Walsh played prominent flute solo exuding the calm beauty it deserves.

The final piece was Mozart’s relatively early No.33. There were very good programme notes for this concert – brief but very much to the point.

So we knew where to place this work in relation to the later greats and to expect some connection with the comic opera of the time. The joyful, ever more frantic and inventive last movement seems certain to have a triumphant close but Mozart gives us a joke – spare and quirky. We wanted more and a reprise let us experience it again, full of anticipation.

This had been a very happy way to spend a dismal Sunday afternoon.