Barring an occasional counterfeit note passed in the wind department, last night’s Symphony Concert, by the Bulawayo Municipal Orchestra must be accounted one of the most successful in many months.
Baritone soloist Norman Bailey earned a keen ovation with splendid singing and vivid characterization. From Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” he realized with equal success Leporello’s sly “Catalogue” aria and the Don’s lustfully expectant “Champagne” aria.
The promise of drama – and of tragedy – in the “Prologue” to “I Pagliacci” was presented by him with subtlety yet ample power.
The orchestra’s string section throughout the evening maintained a unanimity of bowing and vitality of attack. These qualities “carried” a performance of Mozart’s G Minor Symphony No. 40 that was pleasurably efficient, if it did not probe the work’s underlying tragic spirit. The symphony’s balance would have gained from inclusion of the repeats.
Woodwind redeemed themselves to join the revitalized strings in concluding with a spirited account of three pieces from Bizet’s “L’Arlesienne”.