Roy Goodman's Hanover Band performs masterfullyTHE HANOVER BAND
Conducted by Roy Goodman.
Program of works by Haydn,
Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Le Brun.
Sanders Theatre, November 4.
By Jonathan Richmond
, Roy Goodman took The Hanover Band's Sanders Theatre concert to a sublime conclusion. It had generally been a rich and involving evening, but the eloquence of Rachel Brown's woodsy-sounding but free-flowing flute playing and the gentleness of the accompanying strings made this encore the highlight.
The Hanover Band is an original instruments orchestra from London, and they were performing in a new series promoted by the Sanders Theatre. The attendance was depressingly low, and few young people were present, indicative of a need for better marketing and more competitive pricing: With the cheapest price at $19.50, and no discounts for non-Harvard students, this was too expensive for a Wednesday night.
Haydn's Symphony No. 75 in D opened the concert, and was given an exuberant performance. Shadows of darkness were at times poignantly enveloped in the sun of Haydn's music, but this was mostly a ticklish display of pure enjoyment.
, K. 313. Her sound was well balanced by a silky backdrop of strings, and the crisp tinkling sound of Roy Goodman's harpsichord continuo gave an added piquancy to the blend.
There was some messiness in Mendelssohn's String Symphony No. 10 in B Minor, which did not sound quite adequately rehearsed, but the Le Brun Oboe Concerto in C which followed made up for this. This is no great work, but Frank de Bruine's playful solo performance brought many smiles, his playing evoking images of some mischievous Rossini heroine.
Mozart's Symphony No. 29 is one of those works which can appear in different costumes and look ravishing in each one. The traditional approach takes the work at a slow pace, and can create a real sense of power and pathos if done well.
The "authentic" movement takes things at a far brisker swing, and Roy Goodman and his crew were certainly true to this newer tradition. They created a masterpiece of youthful abandonment and sensuality within a framework of Mozartean Classicism and elegance. The clarity of the wind playing was penetrating, crisply differentiated, but it engaged quite evocatively with a set of strings engrossed in the spirit of the dance.
Roy Goodman earned a lone black mark when he referred to the sponsor of the Le Brun work. "In typical Dutch fashion, he only paid half the fee. . . perhaps that's where the saying "Going Dutch" came from," said Goodman in introducing the work. Such bigoted comments have no place on the concert platform or anywhere else.