London Mozart Players, review: Celebrating Strings, St Mary in the Castle, February 7

London Mozart Players. Photo by Kevin Day
London Mozart Players. Photo by Kevin Day

London Mozart Players certainly fulfilled their intention of working closely with young musicians last Friday.

They drew on players of all levels – quite literally so, from tiny performers playing on single open strings, to teens who are looking towards a professional career – in the premiere of Jeff Moore’s Fiddler’s Hill.

This is a deceptively immediate work but digging only slightly below the surface reveals a piece which allows all potential performers, at whatever level, to feel fully involved and important to the final outcome. What better way to encourage young musicians than to make them feel that they matter and are as essential to the impact of the work as the long standing members of LMP?

The evening was carefully structured to cover a wide range of styles and techniques, enabling the audience to experience the demands on a professional player as well as the wide range of skills they need. The second movement of Britten’s Simple Symphony – Playful Pizzicato- is certainly familiar but also brings us the range of tone available to the composer just using plucked strings.

In the second half the orchestra played Holst’s St Paul’s Suite, itself written for young musicians and a fascinating segue, via Bach’s popular Air on a G string into Fiddler’s Hill.

LMP work without a conductor – except for the premiere which was conducted by the composer – but are led with tact and considerable skill by first violin Ruth Rogers, who also introduced the works as the evening progressed.

If I have left the finest moment of the evening till last it was because it was the most unexpected. The arrangement for string orchestra of Piazzolla’s Oblivion and the popular Libertango was superb, and raised what had been a pleasant evening’s music making to another level all together. We could do with a whole evening given over to the LMP and the tango, surely?

Hastings cinema listings, Friday to Thursday, February 14-20. Click here to read more.

Four great shows to see in the Eastbourne area. Click here to read more.

Four things to do in Hastings, Rye and Bexhill. Click here to read more.

An interview with Baxter Dury ahead of Hastings Fat Tuesday’s launch night. Click here to read more.

Inspiring workshops with Claire Martin and Guy Chambers: Hastings International Piano Festival. Click here to read more.

Eastbourne entertainment listings, Friday to Thursday, February 14-20. Click here to read more.