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CONCERT SERIES ONE REVIEW – 2mbs FM, Mike Smith From the first opening chords from the full orchestra you knew this was going to be an exciting concert. The Mendelssohn Midsummer Night's Dream Overture was played with a vigour and self-confidence that extended further into the lively Scherzo, which is one of virtuosic concert masterpieces for orchestra. The string quartet at the centre of Elgar's Introduction and Allegro for Strings handled the balance between taking the lead role and blending in with the overall texture, with sensitivity and control, allowing the polyphonic strands to blend together without losing their identity. Mozart's Jupiter Symphony (no.41 in G) is perhaps the best-known of all Mozart's symphonies, and is considered by many to be the zenith of the 'classical' period. The long lines of the slow movement were never allowed to drag, and the minuet showed a Haydn-esque nobility, punctuated by beautifully measured cadences from the woodwind and brass. But it was really in the finale that the performance came to its own 'zenith', as the fugue culminated into a rollercoaster ride to the end. The acoustics of the Balmain Town Hall demand that the players keep a close watch on the conductor, whose control and authority needs to be absolute. It is a pleasure to watch Sarah-Grace Williams in action, the clarity of her directions to the players becomes an additional and visual component which enhances the overall experience of a concert, especially in the smaller venues. She has worked hard to create an orchestra that inspires its audiences with its sense of vitality and purpose. Throughout the concert I felt as if I was a part of the performing process and not merely a bystander, with all the excitement of being right in there and none of the responsibility!

MCO Concert Review  

February 27th 2010 Review by Mike Smith, 2mbs fm

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