Leland Chen

‘Great command and assurance’: Leland Chen with the Ten Tors Orchestra

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A light and frothy performance of Mozart’s effervescent Marriage of Figaro Overture provided the perfect opener, with especially neat articulation from upper woodwind, and strings, led with usual aplomb by Mary Eade.

The opening Allegro from Beethoven’s Violin Concerto saw soloist Leland Chen make light work of the bristling technical difficulties, playing with great command and assurance, and a sumptuously well-rounded tone. The cadenza was despatched with consummate virtuosity, and everything looked set to become another of those classics for which the Ten Tors Orchestra has garnered such a well-deserved reputation.

But when an orchestra is missing one or two key-players, it can make a difference. Replacements can be found, but these sometimes need a tad more time in rehearsal to adjust in the performance itself.

Here, a tuning-glitch in the orchestra at the outset of the slow movement, not unsurprisingly disturbed Leland’s own intonation for a split second, but, apart from an occasional slow solo response from lower woodwind, the movement then progressed without a hitch, leaving a superb reading of the ebullient finale from both protagonists to guarantee the unqualified success of the concerto as a whole.

As ever, though, Ten Tors Orchestra, in the immensely safe hands of conductor Simon Ible, still had the last word with a first-rate closing performance of Mozart’s Haffner Symphony, music with which they are spiritually so very much in harmony.

 

PHILIP R BUTTALL