* Notes *
Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra opened the 2011-2012 season with Mozart, Beck, and Haydn. The concert started with Mozart's Symphony No. 38 in D major. The playing lilted, the brass seemed slightly rawer in style compared to the strings and woodwinds. The featured soloist of the program was R.J. Kelley (pictured left, photograph by Matt Dine), playing Mozart's Concerto pasticcio for Horn in E-flat major with the orchestra. The natural horn just seems an impossible instrument to play in tune, and one wonders what sort of personality is drawn to such a difficult vocation. Kelley made a good go of it, and sounded best in the second movement Romanza. The instrument can have a warm and mellow quality that is quite beautiful.
The second half of the performance gave us a cheerful rendition of Beck's overture from La mort d'Orphée. Haydn's Symphony No. 98 rounded off this delightful evening. The oboe sounded particularly nice, and the playing altogether was animated and genial.
* Tattling *
Some latecomers seated in the back of the orchestra level held up the performance in between the two Mozart pieces. A cellular phone was heard during the last piece, again from this area.