Sakari Oramo did some extraordinary things with the CBSO in front of a packed Symphony Hall for Wednesday afternoon's all-Mozart concert.
An early celebration of the great composer's 250th birthday, the event saw Oramo seizing the baton to direct a piece of chamber-music perfectly viable without a conductor, relinquishing the podium to preside with his violin over a little orchestral gem and embellishing one of Mozart's greatest orchestral masterpieces in a way which had me, a veteran Mozartian and hard-boiled old critic, on the edge of my seat with excitement.
This last joy came in the late Symphony in E-flat K543, performed with a huge, Beethoven-sized orchestra (though not as big as that for which Mozart had so enthusiastically composed in Paris ten years earlier in 1778), and given with a Beethovenian strength and athleticism which never lost sight of lyricism and warmth.
There were many wonderful moments along the way here, but suddenly, in the repeats of the Minuet's Trio sections, there were the two remarkable clarinettists warbling away with extensive, totally idiomatic added embellishments to exhilarating effect.
I spoke to Oramo afterwards and he shyly admitted these ornamentations were his own - and no-one else will ever use them but himself. n Repeated tomorrow (7pm). Running time one hour 55 minutes.
Christopher Morley ..SUPL: