The standard of Bulawayo Municipal Orchestra’s playing under Hugh Fenn at the City Hall last night provided a further eloquent plea for the orchestra’s survival.
Soloist Odette Ray’s approach to Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in B Flat had many diverting qualities – crisp fingering, assured rhythm, alertness and taste.
In underlining the work’s debt to Haydn and Mozart rather than its embryonic assertiveness, she found sensitive and carefully balanced support from the orchestra.
The concerto known as No. 2 was written first in 1795, before No. 1, but after an unpublished essay in E Flat. The revised version of 1798 – now played – becomes on this reckoning No. 4 to confound the scholars.
Throughout the evening the strings maintained the high level of precision and attack set in the last concert, and excelled in the concerto’s slow movement and a Mozart Presto.
If Weber’s Overture Preciosa sounded undernourished, there is no complaint about the pointed and spirited performance – repeats happily included – with which the concert ended.