Tag Archives: Beethoven


A stunning performance by the ACO led by Richard Tognetti, with fiery, blistering, tempestuous playing of the richly layered music.Directed by Matisse Ruby and dramatically shot (photography by Drew English) this is a powerhouse performance of what is arguably Beethoven’s most popular violin sonata. Known as The Kreutzer Sonata for its dedication to the violinist Rudolphe Kreutzer, lost in history is its original dedication to George Bridgetower, a far more accomplished violinist of West Indian descent and something of a kindred spirit to Beethoven. Bridgetower performed with the composer at the Sonata’s premiere in 1803 to massive acclaim but they fell out spectacularly, never speaking to each other again, and his name was removed from the dedication .Tognetti attempts to reestablish Bridgetower’s place in history. The sonata also inspired a Tolstoy short story and the composition of Janacek’s Kretuzer Sonata.


The studiocast begins with a voiceover about the Sonata’s history and a young boy (Kendly Hawkins) sitting at first in the stalls , then striding onstage and picking up a violin , striking a pose. Then, cut to Tognetti and the concert starts , lights going up to reveal the rest of the ACO ensemble .Beethoven’s work is in three movements. Tognetti thrillingly opens the work with a mind boggling blistering display of virtuoso technique and incredibly fast playing of the spiky, intense music. There is a change to a far slower and more pensive mood then back to agitated scurries on the violin, throbbing and heartfelt. The music pulsates and is passed around the various sections of the Orchestra then becomes a rolling wave of sound, which is followed by slower, softer, delicate cellos and doUble bass with long sustained notes. Skittering violins breathlessly interrupt then have a far more lyrical passage. There are some very fiery segments and Tognetti in a short, electric solo ends the movement with a grand flourish. Continue reading AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA : BEETHOVEN AND BRIDGETOWER


Led by Richard Tognetti, this was a magnificent concert by the Australian Chamber Orchestra filmed at City Recital Hall, the first of their online Studiocasts.

The concert opened frenetically with explosively emphatic strings in Schubert ‘s ( arr.Tognetti ) ‘Quartettsatz in C Minor D 703’. While only one of four planned movements, it is striking and organically formed to stand alone. There were strong, pulsating melodies and a fiery dialogue between the two sections of the Orchestra. The music ebbs and flows, swoops and dives, swirls and rapidly cascades. The same busy chords that open the movement wildly come full circle to close it. The restatement of those chords also sees the return of the emotionally eloquent second theme which is presented in a different tone to how we first hear it. The third theme is the same piece but now in C major, and the work combines to bring the movement to its conclusion. Continue reading AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA : RAPTURE


The Metropolitan Orchestra (TMO) is returning to live performance. The TMO  will finish 2020 just as it started, with lots of energy, excitement and plenty of much loved live music including the return of a favourite Australian work.

The concert on December 5th will have limited capacity while also being live streamed.

The performance will open with Beethoven’s arousing and emotional ‘Coriolan Overture’ to reflect the tragedy of 2020 on the arts. Continue reading THE METROPOLITAN ORCHESTRA BACK LIVE IN CONCERT


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

Selby and Friends – Beethoven’s Ghost

Part of the celebration of Beethoven’s 250th, (1770 – 1827 ) this is a most glorious concert with luscious , exquisite playing . Led by Kathryn Selby on piano, the trio also included Harry Ward on violin and Timo-Veikko Valve on cello in an all Beethoven program of three of the composer’s works – a special treat at any time, but especially given the current situation with the Covid pandemic.

Each work was given a fascinating introduction by one of the three players, putting the work in historical context.

First up was his Opus 1 – Piano Trio No. 3 in C Minor (1793-95 ) dedicated to Prince Karl von Lichnowsky .It is considered one of Beethoven’s earliest masterpieces and was worked on both in Bonn and Vienna .
The first movement was brisk and flurried , the piano skipping breathlessly , the violin and cello hurriedly joining. The melodies surged and eddied , quieter more lyrical moments contrasted with intense , earnest discussion. The piano cascades and ripples throughout leading to a flourishing finish. The cello has a few featured short solos , hinting at the development of Beethoven’s later trios. Continue reading Selby and Friends – Beethoven’s Ghost


Violinist Alexandre Da Costa..Pic Lawrence Lebat

A marvellous concert by the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, energetically led by Dr Nicholas Milton. The Orchestra was in fine, robust form.

Beethoven’s powerful Egmont Overture, op. 84 was first ,with its strong blaring opening and strident strings. It was volcanically emphatic and passionate with its spinning melody and crashing turbulence, that was at one point balanced by a lilting two sided conversation between the various elements of the Orchestra. Also important is to note how the horns and trumpets were featured. Next year the Orchestra will be celebrating 250 years since Beethoven’s birth and this was a taster. Continue reading WILLOUGHBY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA : TITAN @ THE CONCOURSE

Viennese Titans @ Sydney Grammar

Second Pic
Flowers and plenty of acclaim for Georgia Browne, the concert’s outstanding soloist and prinicipal flautist. Pics by Nico Jonker

Orchestraseventeen88 is an orchestra which has been established to present the classical repertoire from the late Rococo to the Romantic era in Historically Informed Performance (HIP) style.  This means that the music is played on period instruments, in period style and using musical pitch relevant to each era and piece as well.

The Artistic Director of this new period instrument ensemble is Richard Gill OAM. For this Company’s first concert, eloquently titled AN EVENING WITH THE VIENNESE TITANS Racheel Beesley was the Concertmaster, Benjamin Bayl was the Conductor and Georgia Browne was the soloist and principal flautist.

The evening’s program consisted of three pieces:  The Creatures of Prometheus (Beethoven), Concerto No 1 for Flute and Orchestra in G Major (Mozart) and the very long Symphony in C Major (Schubert); that is, from an orchestral development point of view, Beethoven, pre-Beethoven and post-Beethoven. Continue reading Viennese Titans @ Sydney Grammar