Saturday 9 July 2016, 5 pm and Sunday 10 July, 3 pm
King’s and Queen’s Performing Arts Centre
Holly Mathieson Conductor
Amalia Hall Violin
Bach: Violin Concerto No.1
Purcell: Suite for Strings
Paisiello: Overture to ‘The Barber of Seville’
Saint-Saëns: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, Eroica
Dunedin Symphony Orchestra played two late afternoon concerts at the weekend, both being sell-out events at the King’s and Queen’s Performing Arts venue. Conducting was Dunedin’s Holly Mathieson who is making a name for herself in the British and European conducting world, and since her last concert with DSO, there is noticeable maturity and confidence in her conducting and presentation. She returns to UK to the position of assistant conductor for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
New Zealand violinist Amalia Hall is another extremely talented young lady also fast gaining recognition internationally. With DSO strings and harpsichord she opened the programme with Bach’s Concerto in A Minor for Violin BWV 1041. The Allegro movement was particularly effective with strong solo beauty over light and tight orchestral timbre. The strings continued with (Open Italics)Suite Z.770 by Purcell, which apart from the final pulsating Jigg. I felt (at Saturday’s performance) lacked stylistic individuality and contrasting definition within the various dance forms.
The full orchestra assembled for Overture to the Barber of Seville, but it was the return of soloist Hall in a stunning vermillion gown for the music of Saint-Saens which saw a totally inspired orchestra erupt in an explosion of colour and passion to match the violinist’s brilliant virtuosic passages in Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso Op.28. A veritable feast of exhilarating Spanish festivity, which brought pro-longed applause from delighted patrons.
After an interval the orchestra delivered a creditable performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No.3 Op.55 (Eroica) – a massive, complex three quarter of an hour work. The Scherzo maintained particularly good pace and character. Pleasing woodwind passages, and pure-toned horns were noticeable throughout, and Mathieson’s energetic and inspired conducting style extracted considerable overall strength of tone when demanded
Reviewed by Elizabeth Bouman for the Otago Daily Times, Monday, 11 July 2016.