Classical Music

TMO Met Concert 3 @ The Eugene Goosens Hall

TMO Chief Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams with piano soloist Simon Tedeschi

TMO’s MET CONCERT # 3 continued the 2015 season by enjoying another capacity crowd at the ABC Centre’s Eugene Goossens Hall. Its cohesive programme celebrated an Australian work evoking the spirituality of an iconic local landscape, a popular Australian pianist performing one of the nineteenth century’s best known concertos, and a symphonic favourite influenced by indigenous American melodies and culture.

Peter Sculthorpe’s ‘From Uluru’ (1992) was an intense and atmospheric start to an expressive night. It is perhaps not heard as regularly as his landscape-specific works ‘Kakadu’ (1988), ‘Earth Cry’ (1986), or ‘Mangrove’ (1979), but this shorter work is no less a gem with sustained sections of shifting atmospheres. TMO presented the work with pleasing clarity and richness of colour. Many shapes, aspects of Dreaming and a sense of a landmark’s impact were communicated through this performance. Continue reading TMO Met Concert 3 @ The Eugene Goosens Hall

Willoughby Symphony Orchestra presents Bohemian Tango @ The Concourse CHATSWOOD

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WSO 2015 Composer in Residence Elena Kats-Chernan

This was a superb afternoon spent enjoying the three fine music selections, chosen for the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, and presented as BOHEMIAN TANGO.

Energetically conducted by Warwick Potter, the first piece was a symphonic masterwork in five movements, composed by Elena Kats-Chernin, Willoughby Symphony Orchestra’s 2015 Composer-in-Residence. ‘Recollecting ASTORoids’ provided a detailed and most magnificent tango experience, performed by the full symphony orchestra. If a CD recording of ‘Recollecting ASTORoids’ existed, its beautiful tango music would be a recommended purchase. Continue reading Willoughby Symphony Orchestra presents Bohemian Tango @ The Concourse CHATSWOOD

ACO presents Egarr and the Golden Age @ City Recital Hall Angel Place

Satu Vänskä plays Bach in this concert
Satu Vänskä plays Bach in this concert

The latest ACO concert, EGARR AND THE GOLDEN AGE shines with brilliance from every part of its varied programme. Incidental music to theatre sits well beside an adaptation of viol consort music. Works from the early concerto styles are successfully placed beside symphonic style. The British and Germanic styles developing between 1641 and 1783 are juxtaposed with stunning effect.

Guest soloist and director, Richard Egarr, Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music, leads from both harpsichord and fortepiano. His charismatic playing and interpretation of the various compositional styles joins with the ACO’s expertise in delivering exciting early music moments. Continue reading ACO presents Egarr and the Golden Age @ City Recital Hall Angel Place

Sydney Chamber Choir: Creativity and Loss @ The Great Hall Sydney University

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Inset Pic – The Sydney Chamber Choir proudly promoting its recent concert. Featured Pic- Conductor and the Choir’s founding musical director Nicholas Routley

Brahms’ German Requiem was the advertised centrepiece of the Sydney Chamber Choir’s thematically titled Creativity + Loss performance on 14 June at the Great Hall, Sydney University, as part of the 2015 concert cycle to celebrate the Choir’s 40th anniversary. But the concert also included a number of classical and modern pieces to display the variety and breadth of the Choir’s range, nuance the performance across a lengthy program, and provide the listener with a diverse choral experience and possibly some welcome discoveries.

Conductor Nicolas Routley, the founder of the then Sydney University Chamber Choir, returned to conduct a very fine performance throughout, interspersed with witty and insightful commentary. A fitting return as he has been instrumental in shaping the Choir to merge the classical traditions with modern currents and thus ensure that the Choir retains the traditional values of beautiful choral characteristics but also incorporates a modern edge. Continue reading Sydney Chamber Choir: Creativity and Loss @ The Great Hall Sydney University

The Marais Project launches their new CD Smörgåsbord! at the Independent Theatre

Marais Project-insetFounded in 2000, The Marais Project recently turned 15, and each year presents Early Music with a number of highly regarded concerts making it Australia’s longest continuously running “viola da gamba” ensemble.

The Marais Project have performed more than 80% of Marin Marais’ works for solo, two and three viola da gambas and other fine works for the viola family. Additionally they have commissioned some twenty works by Australian composers and arranged new music for the ensemble. As well they have pioneered the use of the electric viola da gamba. Continue reading The Marais Project launches their new CD Smörgåsbord! at the Independent Theatre

The Acacia Quartet: Five Chapters Concert @ The Australian Hall

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The very hip Acacia Quartet celebrated their fifth birthday with a wonderful concert. The audience serenaded the quartet with a loud and rousing vocal rendition of “Happy Birthday To You”, an old classic by Patty and Mildred J. Hill  from Warner/Chappell Music.

The evening of classical ear-candy began with “Untitled”, composed by Lyle Chan. This was its world premiere performance.

Next was Elena Kats-Chernin’s “Five Chapters” composed for piano quintet, in a new arrangement prepared for guest pianist, Tamara Anna Cislowska. This represented the longest piece of the first half- just under a half an hour long. Continue reading The Acacia Quartet: Five Chapters Concert @ The Australian Hall

Resonance : The Love of a Poet @ The Pitt Street Uniting Church

Resonance-featured

The latest in the excellent series of Resonance concerts at Pitt St was THE LOVE OF A POET featuring baritone Alexander Knight and Chris Cartner on piano in a thrilling concert, eloquently played. If you like Schumann and the German Romantics this concert was for you. It certainly helped that the acoustics in this inner city Uniting Church were warm and flattering.

There were no programmes or surtitles per se, the audience sat ‘in the round’ in the church’s configuration and a screen was used which featured English translations and beautiful landscapes as illustrations.

Each piece in the concert was introduced by one of the two gentlemen.

Knight was in glorious voice, at times lyrical and moving, at other times powerful and punchy.

First up was Robert Schumann’s Traumerei (from his Kinderszenen) which was both haunting and lyrical and given a fragile, delicate playing  by Cartner.

In der Fremde followed with a forest landscape. Cartner accompanying on piano with passionate rippling overtones.

Widmung was next with its prominent central section in E. A love song , it was given a heart felt, passionate and yearning performance . Romance in F#, op.28 no. 2 then followed, a magical whirling, flowing performance by Cartner. It was exquisite and full of melancholy and featured a repetition of various musical themes.

The second half consisted of Dicherliebe (“The love of a poet”) sixteen songs of various moods and themes. Some pieces were as short as thirty seconds, yet all came together to paint an an extraordinary picture /portrait of ‘the love of a poet’.

The cycle was inspired by dreams, fairy-tales and the natural world Some were extremely Romantic, other pieces were passionate, proud and defiant. Some looked at nature  the Rhine river (you could hear its flowing), some at helpless, passionate love.

For some of the pieces Cartner’s playing was fast and furious, dashing and breathless, for others it was slower and more lyrical.  Knight’s singing was glorious throughout.

The Dicherliebe sequence was a glorious way to conclude this very special concert.

Running time- one hour without interval.

LOVE OF A POET was performed one time only, on the 1st April , at the Pitt Street Uniting Church, previously having played venues at Lavender Bay and Annandale.

For more about Resonance, visit http://www.resonance.net.au/

Sydney Youth Orchestra-Legends of Past @ City Recital Hall

Actor Paul-William Mawhinney performed a moving monologue by Morris Gleitzman
Actor Paul-William Mawhinney performed a moving monologue written by Morris Gleitzman

LEGENDS OF PAST from the Sydney Youth Orchestra (SYO) was a bold start to this year’s season. With later concerts this year including an opera, opera music and other highly dramatic programmes, this concert’s tribute to the ANZACS in a commemorative year was a colourful, collaborative and meaningful start to 2015.

The programme included an exciting world premiere work, ‘Cathedra’, by Andrew Howes, a Sydney-born composer aged in his early twenties. Written for large forces and containing penetrating effects, it made for a stunning opening. Its soundscape, intended to commemorate fallen soldiers at Gallipoli, fitted in well with the concert’s extra-musical agenda.

Following this work came a break from pure orchestral entertainment with a monologue by Morris Gleitzman, the Australian author of ‘Loyal Creatures’. This monologue was given a poignant performance by Australian actor Paul-William Mawhinney. His measured and genuine portrayal as the ghost of young soldier Frank alternated beautifully between rollicking anecdote and moments of choking heartbreak. It was a touching reminder of the sacrifices made during the Gallipoli and Egyptian campaigns by soldiers of the Lighthorse Brigade. Continue reading Sydney Youth Orchestra-Legends of Past @ City Recital Hall

Australian Chamber Orchestra : Reflections on Gallipoli @ the City Recital Hall

Gallipoli-inset

With Neil Armfield’s wonderful direction, a great troupe of actors, a magnificent opera singer, and very effective use of multimedia, this concert was a powerful tribute to the fallen on both sides.

Each work shared in common an artist’s response and outpouring to the horrific trench experiences Passionately spoken, plainly articulated first hand accounts of those who fought, lived and somehow endured the horrors of those Turkish battlefields were recited by Nathaniel Dean, Yalin Ozucelik and Taryn Fiebig,

Continue reading Australian Chamber Orchestra : Reflections on Gallipoli @ the City Recital Hall

Vive la France!- Balmain Sinfonia

Mezzo Soprano soloist Ellen Malone performed art song and opera. Main photo by  Ron Irving.
Mezzo Soprano soloist Ellen Malone performed art song and opera. Main photo by Ron Irving.

The first Balmain Sinfonia concert for 2015 at the Macquarie Theatre presented a charming and varied programme of works by native French composers or works which received their premieres in France by composers established there. The interesting diversity of programmed music avoided cliché and over-performed works.

With a focus on the nineteenth century, we heard a mixture of contrasting works from Bizet, Berlioz and Franck. The chance to discover theatrical and concert music from these three greats was received very well by the orchestra’s loyal followers. Continue reading Vive la France!- Balmain Sinfonia

Sydney Chamber Choir: Passion and Resurrection @ The Great Hall

Sydney Chamber Choir-Inset

With Easter approaching, the Sydney Chamber Choir’s performance titled PASSION AND RESURRECTION at the Great Hall, Sydney University, combined a number of classical and modern compositions inspired by this important event in the Christian calendar. It forms part of the 2015 concert cycle to celebrate the Choir’s 40th anniversary titled ‘Life Begins At 40’.

It also served as the last performance of the Choir’s longstanding Musical Director Paul Stanhope, who has been instrumental in shaping the Choir to merge the classical traditions with modern currents and thus ensure that the Choir retains its beautiful choral characteristics but also incorporates a modern edge. Continue reading Sydney Chamber Choir: Passion and Resurrection @ The Great Hall