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Go behind the scenes for insights on our recordings, our artists and our future plans. Follow our artists' schedules and share the excitement of their journeys.

Paul Dean appears with Queensland Symphony Orchestra

Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 12:00am

THE Queensland Symphony Orchestra's first Maestro Series concert for 2010 featured a masterly program of Mozart and Mahler pieces.

Mozart's celebrated Clarinet Concerto is a technically astonishing piece to test the greatest of clarinettists.

Queensland's Paul Dean attacked the work from the very first note.

With assured technical prowess, Dean's joyful interpretation demonstrated the depth and breadth of his skill, wringing every nuance of colour from his instrument.

Dean's brisk pace in the allegro movements - and his interaction with the orchestra - was delightful to watch, while his sensitive phrasing of the haunting adagio movement was spine-tingling. The stylistic playfulness of the repetitive themes and arpeggios - eliciting a comparison to Papageno and his pipes – would have gleefiilly thrilled the great composer himself.

There can be no higher recommendation of this breathtaking performance by Dean.

The first professional performance in Queensland of Mahler's 7th Symphony is an important milestone in this 150th anniversary year of the Austrian composer's birth.

Performed rarely, this vast and complex work - with its underlying morbidity and lack of harmonic coherency across the five movements - was tackled with gusto by Johannes Fritzsch. His clarity of interpretation and attention to detail brought the various themes to life, making sense of the cacophony of sound and multilayered ideas of Mahler's flawed score.

He was assisted by some fine playing from the orchestra, with excellent solos from the principal brass (Jason Redman on tenor horn, Peter Luff on French horn), the first desk of the strings and woodwind and some impressive work from the percussion.

It is exciting to see the orchestra come of age in such a challenging work and praise should go to Fritzsch as chief conductor.

Suzannah Conway
Courier Mail (Australia)

Paul Dean