Love And Death – Mancunian Matters
Posted on February 8, 2014
Love and Death
Saturday 8 February
The ambitious premise of Manchester Camerata’s concert on Saturday was to treat listeners to a journey of Love and Death.
The youthful players, led by their equally fresh-faced musical leader, Giovanni Guzzo, took on this weighty task under the arched rafters of Manchester’s stunning cathedral and managed to raise the roof.
A pop-up gin bar had been provided before the concert and the infamously-depressing spirit seemed an appropriate accompaniment to the sighing strings of Mahler’s famous fourth movement.
Written at the turn of the 19th century among the political turmoil caused by the imminent collapse of Vienna’s aristocracy, possibly as a love token to his wife Alma, Manchester Camerata evoked the air of ethereal beauty and yearning which characterises the piece.
The accomplished playing by the strings, complimented by the arpeggios of the harp, paved the way for Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.5 in A Majorwhere Manchester Camerata musical director Giovanni Guzzo stepped forward as soloist and conductor.
Turning at times to face the audience and others to beam at his players, he expertly led the orchestra through the finely balanced Allegro, his charisma shining through as they played the piece’s rapturous Adagio before romping through to the playful Turkish-style final movement.
Manchester Camerata go on to a performance in Colne but the air of resignation which they managed to convey in this piece, written as Schubert contracted the first symptoms of syphilis which would eventually kill him, will linger in the Cathedral’s eaves for a while longer.
Mancunian Matters – Love and Death at Manchester Cathedral, Reviewer – Eve Commander