MOZART made five visits to Prague and was lionised there, especially for The Marriage Of Figaro. So when he arrived for the first time in January 1787, he premiered his new Symphony No 38 in D and nicknamed it "The Prague".

The two works enjoyed a happy conjunction in the Academy of St Olave's Mozart programme last Saturday, conducted by Alan George. It also marked the 25th anniversary of Claire Jowett’s appointment as ASO’s leader, a remarkable achievement.

The Prague got off to a portentous start, its Adagio heavy with menace. Thereafter there was a welcome sense of urgency: the brisk Allegro was rhythmically taut, leavened by delightful woodwind contributions, with bassoons particularly agile. The slow movement was less shapely. String passages in a helter-skelter finale were not entirely comfortable, but it was undeniably exciting.

Unstaged highlights from The Marriage Of Figaro introduced four soloists, after a lively overture. Initially there were problems of balance, with the orchestra predominant. But they evaporated. Jo Rondel was outstanding in the Countess’s taxing arias; her mezzo tone and excellent legato immediately conjured the right sense of loss.

Judith Cunnold as Cherubino also sang from memory. Non So Più was too fast to be effective, but Voi Che Sapete had a lovely feel. Bethany Seymour’s soprano did not suggest Susanna, though she covered the ground well. George Clark brought a deadpan baritone to Figaro’s arias, but still showed huge promise. A satisfying visit to Mozart’s Prague.