London Mozart Players Chamber Ensemble

FRANK CLIFF Norfolk and Norwich Festival event at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich


The first half contained two unusual works. Haydn's Echo Trio, for two string trios of two violins and cello, was originally designed to be performed in two adjacent rooms.

An original and charming work, it was stylishly played by the London Mozart Players directed from the violin by Ernst Kovacic, though the acoustic and sight lines of St Peter Mancroft involuntarily went some way in recreating the original performance, for little of the second trio, other than the echo effects, could be heard, nor were its performers visible.

Not an octet but a double string quartet, Sphor's Op136 in G minor is Sphor in serious mode with little of the melodic charm of his more familiar works, and Kovacic and his team failed to convince that this is other than an interesting oddity.

Mendelssohn's Octet, however, never fails to restore one's spirits. It may not have been the most perfectly-prepared performance, and a work in which balance is never easy wasn't helped once again by that acoustic, but it had overall a refreshing exuberance.