Camerata Ireland at Cadogan Hall

Beethoven
Coriolan – Overture
Schumann
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.54
Mendelssohn
String Symphony No.10 in B minor
Mozart
Symphony No.41 in C, K551 (Jupiter)

Camerata Ireland
Barry Douglas (piano)


Reviewed by: Robert Matthew-Walker

Reviewed: 8 October, 2008
Venue: Cadogan Hall, London

Barry DoulgasThis cleverly planned programme was excellently accomplished, giving us four works of which each was splendidly performed and interpreted. One might have wished, in Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, that the underlying impetus had been a shade stronger, but the more positive impression was that Barry Douglas’s tempos were spot-on; indeed, this proved to be a constant delight throughout the programme, made more impressive by the fact that he conducted the three works not requiring a piano soloist from memory.

This undoubtedly gave the playing a greater sense of involvement and cohesion, and in the case of Schumann’s Piano Concerto, this was given one of the finest accounts I have heard in a very long time. Once again, it was the excellence and the apposite tempos that provided the underlying sense of organic strength to the performance – one naturally took the quality of his playing almost for granted, but, without a conductor, it was deeply impressive to hear the unanimity of the cross-rhythms of the finale so excellently done, demonstrating Douglas’s complete mastery of every aspect of this wholly original masterpiece.

Mendelssohn’s B minor String Symphony is one of that incredible set of such works written in his early teens, but already exhibiting aspects of his structural originality. This was another excellent performance, a splendid opener to Mozart’s final symphony, given a reading of considerable insight and clarity – especially in the finale, proving yet again the qualities that can only come through a close association between very gifted players and their equally gifted musical director. A superb concert.

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