This concert, advertised as Family Ties, featured talented brothers Robert and Jonathan Guy as conductor and clarinet soloist respectively, writes Suzanne Smelt.
This partnership resulted in a breath-taking performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (1791). Jonathan brought an easy lightness and cheer to the fast outer movements, and a fluidity of playing that disguised the very difficult twists and turns that Mozart incorporated into this music. The clarinet sang beautifully in the lyrical second movement. I have rarely heard so much colour of tone produced by this instrument. The orchestra never overshadowed the soloist and maintained a sensitive supporting role.
Indeed, the orchestra supported each other and played as one, enormous and harmonious family under the leadership of Robert Guy, a young conductor with tremendous promise. Schubert’s Rosamunde Overture (1820) was well-paced and unhurried, displaying a solid sense of ensemble, especially throughout the many tempi changes.
We heard an impressive string sound – especially sonorous celli and double basses – which, when combined with gorgeous wind melodies and stunning brass chords, resulted in a fine performance of Brahms’ weighty 4th Symphony (1885),
The orchestra’s hallmark horn sound was pleasing to hear (Brahms, Movement 2).
Well done to those string players, particularly violins and violas, who took part in every piece, often tackling very challenging music with an energy that never waned.
Tonight, any minor errors that may have been made by individuals did not detract from the overall performances. This was undoubtedly the best concert of the season for The Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra. They played as a close-knit family, working as sections for the good of the whole. From start to finish, an evening of outstanding music-making.