On the 4th of November, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte-Carlo (OPMC) invited the audience on a beautiful tour of "Les Maîtres du Classicisme" with not just one performance on the program, but two. With guest conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy at the helm and guest soloists Pablo Ferrández (violoncello), and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) for the first performance in the morning, and Andreas Ottensamer (clarinet) in the afternoon, the particularly windy day filled with Haydn and Mozart simply felt like a gift.

While the storm outside was slightly declining from the morning, the room inside the Monte-Carlo Opera House was filling up with classical music enthusiasts. A quiet hum of anticipation was felt as the Philharmonic Orchestra took the stage. The afternoon program seemed to be promising, starting off with Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte, Ouverture, K. 588.

Freely translated as "All Women Do It," the Ouverture fired off with a blast, instantly sweeping the audience off their feet, as the musicians played with intensity and virtuosity. One would say that this piece may have been the favorite of the orchestra today, and it was brilliantly conducted by Takács-Nagy. Embodying the music with such fire and grandeur, the conductor alternated between delicate movements such as standing on his tippy-toes, to magnificent and invigorating gestures with big arm sweeps and tapping on the floor. And it was contagious: though a different configuration of musicians than in the morning, once again the symbiosis between the orchestra and conductor was palpable, as they moved in synchronicity like the wind playing with the trees outside the Salle Garnier.

After a brilliant closing of the Ouverture which was met with a grandiose applause, it was time for Andreas Ottensamer to join the stage to play Mozart's Concerto for Clarinet, K.622. As the young handsome clarinetist walked onto the scene, one could only understand why, when searching his name, Google's third suggestion is "Andreas Ottensamer wife," followed by "Andreas Ottensamer married". Starting to play the clarinet since the age of 12, this highly sought-after musician is taking the stage through collaborations with internationally renowned artists and world-leading orchestras. And he magnificently presented to the audience why. With a beautiful virtuosity showing mastery and versatility, Ottensamer took the audience on a playful journey through the different sections of the Concerto. It was with great difficulty for the audience not to applaud between the sections, as the chemistry of all on stage was tangible.

Thankfully, as the concerto came to a close, the audience broke out into a massive applause which didn't stop till Ottensamer came back for a small encore. Explaining in French how the following piece was important to him, Ottensamer entranced the audience once more as he played Puccini's Tosca with gentle delicacy. It is without a doubt that this young star will reach far.

Last but not least on the afternoon program was Joseph Haydn's Symphonie N° 8, Le Soir, HOB. I:8, for the first time performed in Monte-Carlo. Though not unusual for Haydn, this symphony is filled with solo passages and diversity, making it a highly energetic piece to listen to. Furthermore, it created enjoyable moments to hear the individuals in the orchestra play. For a moment, they stood out from the mass and shared their own exquisite talents with the audience.

And so an end came to the afternoon with the masters of classicism. All who had shared the stage that Sunday deserved every second of the extended and roaring applause they received.

To read about the first performance of the 4th of November, including the performance of the brilliant and talented Pablo Ferrández on violoncello and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet on piano, please read the BWW Review: A Morning with the Masters of Classicism.

For more information on the upcoming performances of the Philharmonic Opera of Monte-Carlo, please visit

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From This Author Marieke van den Wall Bake

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