Jarrett led Grand Harmonie in a buoyant, limber accompaniment that, in phrasing and balance, sensitively matched and supported Stucker’s voice; from a critical and artistic standpoint, then, there really wasn’t much more you could have asked for from these performers in this piece.
The orchestra was tight and energetic, with Grand Harmonie’s period winds — wooden flutes, valveless brass, tangy reeds — providing especially brisk colors. (Where modern horns might smooth out harmonies, the four natural horns injected ear-opening fizz and funk.)
The whole orchestra rose to the challenge of this irresistible work, playing with alert lyricism in the Adagio and offering, especially from the brasses and winds, an attractively meaty tone in the finale.
From the stout opening of the first movement with its martial tattoos to the graceful minuet and through the cheeky rondo-finale, Grand Harmonie’s interpretation was smart and playful.
It didn’t take long for Grand Harmonie to put its stamp on the three-hour production Thursday night...the 24-piece orchestra gave the Overture a raw, rustic flavor, with piquant winds and horns.
Grand Harmonie has consistently explored repertories that are worth hearing but which are neglected by other performing organizations. It has done so in programs that are imaginatively constructed and compellingly played. Music-making of this quality and creativity does not easily earn large-scale corporate backing, but it deserves encouragement and support from anybody who cares about music that lies off the well-trodden paths followed by others.
It was a treat...to hear the opening chords of the [Mozart Symphony no. 41] first movements played so dynamically that they positively bounced.