Lake Macquarie Philharmonic Orchestra Concert November 4th 2012

The inaugural Lake Macquarie Philharmonic Orchestra concert was a significant event for the development of the industry in the Hunter region.

The standard of playing would grace any concert stage in the country. Distinguished conductor Wilfred Lehmann, conducting from memory, brought to the podium refined musicianship, scholarship, and excellent rapport with his players. They responded with deeply satisfying and committed performances.

The Symphony no 40 of Mozart displayed fine attention to phrasing, structure and style. The first movement had a brisk allegro molto pace, detailed observance of the cross rhythms, and a strong sense of the dark minor mood. The minuet had a strong lilt, and the Mannheim rocket opening of the third movement propelled the music into an exciting and dramatic finish.

Wilfred Lehmann’s reading of the Adagietto from Mahler’s fifth symphony displayed a rapport with Mahler in reflective and peaceful mood, soaring to a passionate climax.  The strings led by brilliant violinist Christopher Bearman and harpist Miriam Lawson thrilled the capacity audience.

Debussy’s Petite Suite orchestrated by Henri Busser entertained with the colours and images of boating, a procession, a minuet featuring a fine woodwind section, and a lively ballet. Just as Ravel “improved” the Moussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition with his orchestration, Busser added many new timbres and hues to the original piano duet of Debussy.

The Symphony in C of Bizet was given a stunning performance, with virtuosic string playing, the cellos and double basses in fine form. Lehmann understood perfectly the youthful verve, optimism and joie de vivre of the seventeen year old composer, inspiring his orchestra. A memorable performance!