A musically lush, lavish, very powerful concert exquisitely played. Under Paul Dyer’s direction the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra gave a very moving musical feast, at times sombre, at other times joyously explosive.
Corelli, a renowned violinist, wrote Twelve Concerti Grossi now today viewed as the best and earliest examples of this style. In his Concerto Grosso in D major, Op. 6 No. 4 adagio with its exquisite, pulsating ebbing and flowing strings, you could almost hear the tears drop with Paul Dyer’s harpsichord rippling. The allegro, however, was bright and joyous with a dancelike atmosphere and, at times, an almost galloping melody with frantic strings. The piece included the use of two Baroque trumpets and sackbuts.
The Corelli Concerto Grosso in D major, Op. 6 No. 7 had a stately yet emphatic opening and included the use of the trumpets. The allegro section was slower, more refined and thoughtful with its entwining theme. The adante was glistening, glowing and palpitating with its circular melody. The Vivace featured Lee-Chen in fiery short solos and a spirited discussion with the rest of the Orchestra.
The Brescianello Violin Concerto in C major, Bre3 featured polished, lyrical violins led by Shaun Lee-Chen with Dyer on harpsichord. The main throbbing melody was stated and responded to. The allegro section had breathless, darting strings leaping and jumping, Lee-Chen featuring in a blistering breakneck short solo, stating the main melody which the rest of the orchestra answers in a very animated discussion.
In 1706-1707 Handel lived in Rome and visited Corelli amongst others. While he was in Rome, opera was banned by Papal decree so he turned to church music. Act 2 of this performance consisted of Handel’s Handel Dixit Dominus, HWV 232 for Choir & Orchestra, one of his most popular works.
We begin with a tumbling, exuberant start. All of the choir soloists were excellent. The choir is, at times, thunderous (as in the chorus Judicabit in nationibus, depicting God at his most threatening ) and when joined by the Orchestra it is like exploding fireworks, tumbling and leaping and almost seeming to trip each other up. Oozing liquid strings accompanied an exquisite, pulsating, soaring duet by sopranos Chloe Lankshear and young, handsome counter tenor Austin Hayes glistened in his solo.
The conclusion of the work brought both Orchestra and Choir together in an ebullient, cascading, swirling mass of sound.
Running Time – roughly 70 minutes online no interval.(The live performance including interval approximately 90 minutes)
The performance was recorded on 27 February 2021 at City Recital Hall and streamed online on 27 March 2021