Prague Chamber Orchestra @ Adelaide Town Hall
2:00pm, Sat 28 Feb 2004
Short Review: Ummm… wonderful :)
Firstly: no, I’m not a classical music guru. But when the chance comes along to see a reputedly rave-worthy orchestra, I reckon I might as well grab it :)
Secondly: the PCO perform without a conductor. This, in and of itself, make for a great visual spectacle – figuring out the lines-of-sight between musicians, watching the eyes of some of the violists flit back and forth from their sheet music to the violinists to the cellos.
This matinee was a performance of the Dvorak Centenary concert. The Serenade for Strings in E Major, Op. 22 was a great start, with a wonderful ascendary Finale. Romance for Violin and Orchestra in F Minor, Op. 11 was a dripping, at times brooding, piece that worked its way to a more uplifting conclusion. The Czech Suite in D Major, Op. 39 was magnificent – the Prelude seemed almost sawtooth in its intensity, and swelled throughout. But we hit pay-dirt with the three (count ’em) encores – the second being a particularly cheeky pluck-fest.
As I mentioned earlier, the visual aspect of the performance was great and, at times, amusing. A couple of the violinists would be visibly slouching when they weren’t required to play, and large sections of the PCO seemed almost reluctant to accept audience applause – even appearing comtemptuous at one point. But that didn’t detract from – and indeed, probably added to – a superb performance, full of beauty and wonder.