Monday, October 6, 2014

REVIEW: Michael Collins with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (Launceston, Australia)

Albert Hall, Saturday September 26

What looks like a multi-purpose town hall was buzzing with excitement. It must be the social event of the year in this sleepy town and all the cultured senior people of Launceston have gathered for it. This is my first time in Tasmania and the first time I am going to hear the orchestra. By the look and feel of Launceston, I really had no reason to look forward to this concert except the fact that Michael Collins (who did a fine job in Hong Kong with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta two weeks ago) is the soloist and Nicholas McGegan is conducting.


The evening started Beethoven's Coriolan Overture that made me sit up. The ensemble was actually not bad at all; and I meant that in the most complimentary way. It was a decent performance and the acoustic of the hall from where I sat (2nd row front) was focused enough.

Albert Hall

Michael Collins' performance of Weber's Clarinet Concerto No. 2 was technically impressive without resorting to rigidity. The tone was smooth and performance was fluid and dynamic; and maestro McGegan and the orchestra responded most well. The concerto is a showcase piece and that’s exactly what the performance did.

After the interval came Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, popularly know as Eroica. The reading was neither explosive nor driven, McGegan took a moderate and structured stand that I find appropriate. While the performance lacked the gloss that most recording listeners may yearn for, it compensated it with a strapping and stoic interpretation. Overall, it was a night well spent.

_____
Beethoven’s Vienna
7:30pm Saturday 27 Sep 2014 - Albert Hall, Launceston, Tasmania

BEETHOVEN Coriolan Overture
WEBER Clarinet Concerto No 2
BEETHOVEN Symphony No 3, Eroica

Nicholas McGegan, Conductor
Michael Collins, Clarinet

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

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