ACO celebrates Mozart in exuberant form

Australian Chamber Orchestra, Hamer Hall, September 8-9

There's no better way to display the brilliance of a great master gone well before his time than to offer a contemporary benchmark. Richard Tognetti and his players began with a Haydn symphony, No. 39 in G minor, which inspired the program's last work: Mozart's fraught Symphony No. 25, used to bracing effect in Forman's Amadeus film.

You could point to similarities and contrasts but the younger composer's construct radiated energy and inventiveness in spades, the ACO in exuberant form with a tightly reined impatience informing the work's Andante while all musicians – the core strings and a pair of woodwind and brass quartets – followed the director's bolting direction in the finale.

Richard Tognetti fronted a crisply minted reading of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3.Credit:Wolter Peeters

Tognetti fronted a crisply minted reading of Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3, sparking it up with individual touches in dynamics and ornamentation. This was yet another of the gifted musician's dusting-off exercises, bringing a tautness of outline and articulation to a well-loved concert favourite without crossing the line into eccentricity. While the ensemble work among the higher strings had patchy moments, the players followed their leader with excellent commitment.

Guest Dejan Lazic contributed in two offerings: first, his own Rondo Concertante – an arrangement of the last movement to Mozart's K. 333 Piano Sonata, which served as an inbuilt anticipatory encore; and second, the rarely heard Piano Concerto No. 14, first in Mozart's chain of peerless essays in the form.

Lazic is a remarkable talent, building on his reputation here with an interpretation that matched practical skill with sustained emotional insight.

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