REVIEWS

KAMMERPHILHARMONIE EUROPA – Chamber ensemble

Wednesday 16th March 2016


Wolf – Italian Serenade

Hummel – Concerto for trumpet & orch. in Eb major

JS Bach – Concert for violin & orch. in A minor

Holst – St Paul’s Suite, Op.29

Faure – Pavane, Op.50

Mozart – Divertimento in F major, K138

Kammerphilharmonie Europa or Chamber Orchestra Europe is an orchestra of talented young musicians recruited from 18 European nations. Founded in Cologne in 2006 by Russian-born Leonid Tritus, it has achieved an outstanding artistic level and tours widely across Europe.

In this concert Kirill Gusarov (trumpet) and Michel Gershwin (violin) will showcase their talent in two diverse concertos and the nine-member ensemble will treat us to some well-loved repertoire. The Holst suite, written for the school orchestra at St Paul's School in Hammersmith, must have been quite a challenge: tuneful throughout, its final movement ends with Greensleeves. The Divertimento in F major in contrast was written by the teenage Mozart for adult players and features a beautiful central Andante.

REVIEW BY CHRIS SKIDMORE

Diversity and virtuosity at the Ilkley Concert Club

The Kammerphilharmonie Europa – nine versatile and talented musicians – are drawn widely from across the world. They delighted with the quality of their ensemble playing and their individual virtuosity as soloists. The programme was wide-ranging and the group impressed overall with their ability to respond to the demands of each style and reach the emotional heart of the music. It was good to see them filling the stage of the King’s Hall!

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The first half of the concert featured two contrasting concerti. Kyrill Gusarov (trumpet) gave a polished performance of the Hummel concerto. He produced a wonderfully sweet legato in the aria-like slow movement while being more than capable of the lightness and agility demanded by the final rondo. Pawel Zuzanski (violin) showed great virtuosity in Bach’s A minor concerto, setting some exhilarating tempi in the outer movements and showing smoothness of line in the central Andante.

Zusanski’s playing reminded us too that the soloist in these Bach concerti is only one amongst equals, the dialogue between soloist and the other strings being a vital component of the performance.

An elegant account of the Divertimento in F K138 by the teenage Mozart opened the second half. It was followed by a string arrangement of Fauré’s Pavane. The opening solo (normally for flute) was executed beautifully by the cellist, Dmitri Gornovsky, and led to an absorbing and impassioned performance. In both this and the Holst which followed special credit should be given to the warm tone of the viola soloist, Ariane Alexander.

In Holst’s St Paul’s Suite the Kammerphilharmonie produced a performance of great rhythmic vitality and attack – fortes which belied their numbers and soft pizzicati of amazing precision – which rounded off the advertised concert in a rousing fashion.

The audience had given the players warm encouragement throughout and were now rewarded by encores in which the group let their hair down, including Astor Piazzolla’s ‘Oblivion’ and a ragtime ‘Souvenir’ by Victor Poltoratsky. A great way to end an excellent evening!

CJS

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