Appealing programme well presented by Sinfonia

REVIEW: For their first concert of the year, Manawatu Sinfonia chose a delightfully appealing programme featuring popular works by Mozart and Beethoven. They opened the concert with a most evocative work by New Zealand composer Anthony Richie – Remember Parihaka.
The latter work marks a momentous occasion in our nation's history as government troops entered Parihaka to be met by children at play, offering the soldiers their food. Disastrous consequences followed this passive resistance, all beautifully characterised both in the work and in this appropriately thoughtful rendition by the Sinfonia.
Mozart's Piano Concerto in D minor is considered one of his great masterpieces, the celebrated slow movement making frequent appearances in today's popular culture. The choice of Angela Cook as soloist was indeed pleasing, marking her enormous contribution to music in Palmerston North, continuing even as the family has moved to the Wairarapa in recent years.
While this performance may not have been flawless, it was characterised by an arresting impetus that ensured the energy required by Mozart's score was always to the fore in an indisputably attractive interpretation by Cook, masterfully balanced by a most supportive orchestra.
The second half of the concert featured Beethoven's charming Symphony No 8, always easy on the ear and here given a most sympathetic reading that continually revealed the inherent beauty of the work.
Van Drimmelen has obviously developed a pleasing rapport with the Manawatu Sinfonia, and this always works well both for the players and their chosen music, here, again, revealed in a most enjoyable concert.

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