I had the pleasure of hearing the first Stratford concert this season by the Orchestra of the Swan, conducted by David Curtis - the repeat performance at Birmingham Town Hall the following day was reviewed by David Hart for the Birmingham Post: "it’s this chamber music experience that has made OOTS so distinctive. Over the years Curtis has moulded his players into a unified ensemble of individual musicians untrammelled by the histrionics of an egocentric conductor...One of Curtis’s greatest strengths has always been his empathy with soloists. On this occasion the lucky recipient was Laura van der Heijden who, in Haydn’s D major Cello Concerto, displayed a maturity and technical assurance far beyond her nineteen years.
In this remarkable performance (beautifully supported by Curtis and OOTS) the work’s technical difficulties were subsumed by the warmth, elegance and sheer poetry of van der Heijden’s playing. Even the obvious virtuosity of her own first-movement cadenza took the underlying poignancy of Haydn’s original material to new levels of expressive power, while the Rondo’s lilting charm and grace were delivered with the lightest of touches. Absolutely delightful."
The next concerts by OOTS are on 11 October (Artshouse Stratford) and 12 October (Town Hall Birmingham)
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