Mostly Mozart 08 - Opening Concert

Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Beethoven's First Symphony was the evening's undoubted highlight. Andreas Delfs, recently appointed to the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra (founded in 1900), something not referred to in the printed biography, offered unfussy but thrustful direction, sorting out the wood from the trees as far as dynamics are concerned and - especially for a chamber-sized orchestra - the Academy of St Martin in the Fields responded with playing of quite remarkable weight, precision and fire. This was an absolutely thrilling Beethoven 1 (with all repeats observed), the important pauses being perfectly judged and every note in the scampering trio in place, underpinned by some well-judged high-impact timpani at climactic moments.