Rene Jacobs and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra HK City Hall Concert Hall Reviewed: Mar 13 Society's hierarchies may have been set to crumble by the time of Haydn and Mozart's later symphonies, but the core expectation that music should entertain remained intact. Using period instruments gives a sense of the sound of the age, but finding the refined spirit that egged Haydn to produce more than 100 symphonies - and audiences to keep lapping them up - can be elusive. Using a black biro as a baton, Rene Jacobs seemed well equipped to draw Haydn's engaging eccentricity, but it only scratched the surface. Whenever the music rose above furious note-spinning to hit quality entertainment, the orchestra responded with poise and sensitivity. But finding the optimum speed was a problem. Dispatching the Menuet from Haydn's Symphony No 91 in less than three minutes ignored the elegance in the tempo marking and notes. It also emasculated the change of character in the finale; all Jacobs did was go faster, making it hard to articulate the accompaniment's chatty figurations. Mozart's Symphony No. 38 fared better. The opening movement gives all the instruments an equal voice and Jacobs found the right conditions for them to speak with clarity and eloquence. The following Allegretto enjoyed an impeccable lilt, tastefully tempered dynamics and well turned phrasing. In keeping with period authenticity, Sebastian Wienand performed Mozart's Piano Concerto No 19 on a copy of an early 19th-century fortepiano. His playing was impeccably tidy, even if the use of rubato became predictable. The instrument's gentle sound, however, was often inaudible outside the solo passages, even from the front stalls.