This was a very striking and unusual concert for the wonderful Australian Chamber Orchestra led by the brilliant Richard Tognetti.
This is the latest in the marvellous series of studiocasts with photography by director Matisse Ruby and her team of Tyson Perkins and Drew English.
Photographed in black and white, the concert began dramatically with Tognetti, his back to us, striding to the podium.
JS BACH – (arr. Tognetti) The Musical Offering, BWV1079) opened the program – the strings were sharp and angry at first but then they changed to slower and shimmering, rich and meandering, delicate with a bright flute (Emmanuel Pahud) darting and leaping.
This delightful concert was filmed as part of the MDCH season but was actually performed at the atmospheric Cell Block Theatre in Sydney.
Each work was introduced by Artistic Director of the Haydn Ensemble Skye McIntosh. For this performance the Ensemble was reduced to a quartet: Skye McIntosh on violin, with Matthew Greco on violin, Karina Schmitz on viola, and Daniel Yeadon on cello.
There was magnificent, precise playing by the four musicians, who had a great rapport between them and concentrated intently.
The theme of the concert was dreams – a source of illumination and fascination for artists, writers, filmmakers, psychologists and composers alike ( think Goya and Poe, for example, not forgetting van Gogh to name just a few ). The music attempts to comprehend the intangibility of dreams – the tales, memories and colour of dreams, some vivid some just snatches, some current, some past. Continue reading AUSTRALIAN HAYDN ENSEMBLE : HAYDN’S DREAM→
The Australian Haydn Ensemble (AHE) will be performing their latest concert ‘Haydn’s Dream and The Goldberg’ this Thursday night 8th October at 7pm at the Cell Block Theatre with the concert being streamed live.
The subject of dreams has long occupied the imagination of composers, poets, and artists throughout history. With this concert AHE explores these subjects with an intriguing collection of works including Haydn’s Dream Quartet, Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Beethoven’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s Tomb Scene from Romeo and Juliet. Continue reading AUSTRALIAN HAYDN ENSEMBLE @ MELBOURNE DIGITAL CONCERT HALL→
A magnificent , many layered concert that had this reviewer in raptures at times .It was also full of contrasting but associated sounds .At times aspiring to be futuristic it is also a glorious celebration of Bach ( and Dean’s ) music. Richard Tognetti, Erin Helyard, Brett Dean and ACO Principal Cello, Timo-Veikko Valve are all featured .
The stage as the audience enters is set with a delicate candle, harpsichord and organ.
The concert opens with Tognetti’s spellbinding performance of BACH’s Sonata No.2 in A minor for solo violin, BWV1003: III. Andante that was haunting and compelling , powerful and hypnotic.
Bachs Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord No.2 in A major, BWV1015 15 I. Dolce II. Allegro III. Andante un poco IV. Presto followed .The work is a trio sonata , the first movement soaring and flowing with delicate celestial music played by Helyard on the organ , Tognetti on violin which changed to a discussion between the two. The second movement was brisk , crisp and precise with Helyard on harpsichord and Timo-Veikko Valve on cello .The third movement , circular and floating, – with Helyard with one hand on the chamber organ , the other on the harpsichord , all three performers exchanging thoughts .Tognetti led the discussion though , like a showy tenor . The final movement ( Helyard back on harpsichord) had an explosive opening and was bustling and thrumming to the dynamic conclusion.
The trio were joined by violist Atte Kilpeläinen for segments from Bach’s Three-Part Inventions, or Sinfonias, for keyboard interspersed with Gyorgy Kurtag Signs, Games and Messages: Hommage à J.S.B. 2 .The atmosphere of the single candle light ( with the glowing screens of the performer’s tablets) was drastically changed with the use of a vertical flaring fluorescent light, that identified the Kurtag sections .There was also a piece by Marin Marais’ – Sonnerie de Sainte-Geneviève, given a most vivacious , robust performance with rather boisterous cello . The music ranged from swooping and swirling , bubbling and circling , to infectious dance rhythms, fiery, sharp percussive segments all leading to the cascading , rippling yearning achingly eloquent conclusion , Bach’s Chorale Prelude “Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ”, BWV639 3.
Very atmospheric , Brett Dean’s Approach (Prelude to a Canon) was first after interval , its Australian premiere , a commission by the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra , with Atte Kilpeläinen leading , Hellyard on harpsichord and cellists Valve, Julian Thompson and Melissa Barnard, and Maxime Bibeau on bass .At times it was sharp and spiky , trembling and oscillating , other times scampering , building to a crescendo then a softer , quieter end , lead by Dean and Kilpeläinen , the others quivering underneath.
The final work was Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.6 in B-flat major, BWV1051 14 I. [Allegro] II. Adagio ma non tanto III. Allegro notable for the major viola parts and absence of violins.
The first movement was crisp, cold and very precise almost like intergalactic sounds beamed from a satellite disc.The second movement was tender , lyrical and eager with Helyard moving between organ and harpsichord , Kilpeläinen and Dean interlacing their melodies.The final movement was sprightly almost dancelike in its melody, with fast and furious violas , the cellos and double basses far more restrained.
While perhaps there were few performers on stage , this was an intrepid , gargantuan performance.
The Australian Chamber Orchestra’s INTIMATE BACH tours nationally 19-30 October 2019
Running time two hours including interval
This was a marvellous concert with a major focus on Handel’s music that showcased some extraordinary young talent , giving us a glimpse of Baroque performance of the future.
Under the dynamic direction of Paul Dyer the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra was in fine form and the young guest soloists had a delightful rapport with them. Christian Li has already won the Junior Prize at the prestigious Menuhin Competition in Geneva, and Annie Gard ( violin) and Madison Nonoa ( soprano) are also creating a sensation across London, New York and Europe .
The music of J.S. Bach will come alive in March in Parramatta at a very special concert by Bach Akademie Australia, performing two of his greatest Cantatas and the rarely performed Ascension.
Founder of Bach Akademie Australia, Madeleine Easton, is an internationally acclaimed Australian violinist, director and concertmaster who works with some of the most respected ensembles and orchestras around the world.
For the first time, Bach Akademie Australia will perform with a full choir of hand-picked singers from around Australia including four internationally regarded vocal soloists.
DATE FOR THE DIARY
Saturday 30 March 8pm-9.30pm at St Patricks Cathedral, 1 Marist Place, Parramatta
This Theatre Des Bouffes Du Nord production combined a quirky Chekhov one act play with classical French comedic theatre techniques along with powerful classical music to bring off a great night’s entertainment.
The quality of the musicianship was superb – Floriane Bonnani (Violin and Original Concept), Muriel Ferraro (Soprano) and Emmanuelle Swiercz (Piano) set a high standard for their playing of the Bach, Tchaikovsky and Berio pieces. Continue reading On The Harmful Effects of Tobacco→
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