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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Mar. 24, 2016 5 years ago

Orlando Philharmonic focuses on Mozart

The program could also be called "Mozart, Boy Genius"
by: Louis Roney Staff Writer

At the Plaza Live Theater on March 14 the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Focus Series (mostly chamber music) performed a “focus on Mozart.” The program could also be called “Mozart, Boy Genius,” because Mozart wrote all the compositions on the program by the time he was 18!

On the program was a lady named Diane Bishop, who plays the bassoon — and plays it masterfully. Lots of people may have found this their first opportunity to hear a bassoon as a “show-off” solo performer. The 4-foot-long maple-red instrument is customarily in the back of the woodwind section and “behaves” itself. It is rare indeed to hear this wonderful device so beautifully played. We doubt that the chances of hearing a bassoonist of Bishop’s brilliance will grace us again soon. Mozart’s “Concerto for Bassoon in B-flat” was the ideal medium. Guest Conductor Guillaume Pirard provided immaculate orchestral accompaniment with varying dynamics and brisk tempi.

The program opened with “Divertimento in F Major” — a jolly composition that Mozart wrote at the age of 16! (What were you doing at 16?) Pirard is excellent in knowing how to get the very best from his players.

Following Intermission Pirard led the orchestra in Symphony No. 29 in A Major, a piece composed by Mozart at the age of 18. The OPO’s precision and accuracy in attacks was commendable. The increasing high quality of the OPO’s playing finds the orchestra at a new level of excellence and opens up the possibility of playing increasingly difficult repertoire. Once again I indulge myself in the pleasure of saying that our Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra heightens immensely the quality of our community’s cultural life.

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