Review: Mozart and Haydn at Norwich Cathedral

NNF16. English Chamber Orchestra. Pictured at Cadogan Hall in London. Photo: Marianne Swienink-Havrd

NNF16. English Chamber Orchestra. Pictured at Cadogan Hall in London. Photo: Marianne Swienink-Havrd. - Credit: Marianne Swienink-Havard

Just the names of Haydn and Mozart are a promise of an evening of delightful music, and a large audience was enthusiastic in its appreciation of the performances given by the much-admired English Chamber Orchestra. It was led by David Juritz and conducted by David Parry, who is no stranger to Norwich.

Haydn, as the older of the two composers, came first with his Symphony No.44. It is known as the Mourning Symphony on account of the more reflective spirit of its slow movement, but the overall feeling was anything but gloom.

The general mood was cheerful too in the violin concerto in A Major that Mozart wrote while still only in his teens. The soloist was Savitri Grier, an Oxford graduate currently studying for a master's degree in London.

Confident and concentrating, with clear tone, she had already impressed us before embarking on the finale with its emphatic echoes of Turkish musical rhythms.

After the strongly characterised Adagio and Fugue from a rather later stage in Mozart's development came his Symphony No.29. Bustling with energy, it also had the seemingly effortless grace and delicacy associated with the Austrian courts of the time, with the horns and oboes allowed space to make their significant contributions.

Christopher Smith