Review- Surrey Mozart Players, 28 March, 2009
United Reformed Church, Guildford
DE BORAH, WOODS AND MOZART PLAYERS ASTONISH WITH PROKOFIEV-
Maestro Kenneth Woods led the Surrey Mozart Players into powerful battle on Saturday March 28th. They took on a formidable task—-Prokofiev’s Fifth Piano Concerto, a rarely performed work of prodigious difficulty. The difficulties however are not all the exclusive responsibility of conductor and orchestra—there is of course the soloist, a most demanding role, filled here by the young Australian Daniel de Borah, a pianist of formidable technique and talent. He is required to deal with pages of bewildering complexity. Conductor, orchestra, soloist all dazzled in a most exciting account of this rugged, often ferocious music. If anybody thought this concerto might in some way resemble Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” ballet score, he would have had quite a surprise!
Mozart was also represented. His ‘Clemency of Titus’ overture in fact opened the proceedings. This was given a wonderfully strong and rhythmical performance, and one was aware of a very generous bass acoustic which, for the unwary, could give problems with balance.
More Mozart followed the Prokofiev with some elegant arrangement for wind ensemble of five of the celebrated vocal numbers from the Marriage of Figaro. It was a great delight, producing some beautiful playing.
Beethoven provided a splendid Finale to the whole concert—The First Symphony, a great favourite with music-lovers. The audience greeted it like an old friend—a joyous sound.
The concert was held in the United Reformed Church, Guildford, a new venue for the Surrey Mpzart Players, and it made an apt and very comfortable Concert Hall.
Thank you Kenneth Woods, Daniel de Borah and the Surrey Mozart Players, for a concert of such wonderfully varied musical delights. We are indeed fortunate in Guildford, to have such a splendid band of fine musicians in our midst.
For the Surrey Advertiser, 29 March 2009