Sinfonia performance in Boston Guildhall

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Sinfonia review by Brenda Lane

What a pleasure! A Sunday afternoon concert - Boston Sinfonia, including the Mozart Clarinet Concerto in Boston’s medieval Guildhall.

Is this the first time for orchestral music there, I wonder? What a way to experience this splendid building - upstairs for the music and then down to wander around freely during the interval.

As soon as the concert began, with an overture written by a then youthful Rossini, it was clear that this room has an excellent acoustic for instrumental music.

Oliver Pashley was the soloist in the Mozart playing a basset clarinet that extends the pitch range of the normal clarinet at the lower end and is just the sort of instrument, then novel, that Mozart wrote his concerto.

It needs a performer of both technical skill and high musicianship to negotiate the enormous leaps the composer built into his phrases.

Then there is the supremely poignant Adagio. Oliver carried all this off – nothing forced, beautiful soft middle and upper tone, maintaining the musical line through the leaps - and a most moving performance of that middle movement.

He has matured since he played the Weber with the orchestra in 2009!

After the interval, came Haydn’s Le Midi, a symphony full of solos.

So did members of our own Sinfonia shine on Sunday – violin and ‘cello (Anne Dales and Glenis Malkin), flutes (Gill Walsh and Martin Robbins)) and so on.

The orchestra and soloists were brought to their feet by conductor Nigel Morley to be acknowledged with generous and well-deserved applause.