Tag Archives: Camerata


Camerata ‘Illuminations’. Pic Alex Jamieson

The latest captivating concert by Camerata was filmed at QPAC and streamed by the ADCH . with the umbrella title ILLUMINATIONS. The playing was magnificent, assured and accomplished. Mention must be made of soloists Thomas Chawner on viola and Karol Kowalik on cello, and violinists Brendan Joyce and Jonny Ng. The concert blended the subtlety and sensitivity of French Impressionist poetry and music (Debussy) with English aplomb (the Britten and Elgar works).

The program began with Edward Elgar’s rich, multi-layered Serenade for Strings, Op.20 (1892). It opened briskly with scurrying swirls and eddies but then changed and rippled and swelled passionately in a slower, far more thoughtful way. The piece was dignified, polished and thoughtful. The wonderful ensemble was given various moments to shine. Continue reading CAMERATA AND QPAC : ILLUMINATIONS


Pic by Alex Jamieson
Pic by Alex Jamieson

Battling the terrible flood situation in Brisbane, this was a most delectable concert by Camerata, rich and luscious with superb playing, streamed live by the Australian Digital Concert Hall from QPAC in Brisbane.

Vivaldi’s much loved ‘The Four Seasons’ was used as a base to explore the concept of the natural weather cycle. After a slight delay there first was a Welcome to Country by Ashley Ruska. Artistic Director and Violinist Brendan Joyce then introduced the concert .

First was La Primavera ( Spring ) Op.8, No.1, in E Major – meticulously structured,  rich , multi-layered with a powerful beat. The strings shimmered, tumbled and had a dialogue. Jason Tong led superbly on violin, at time soaring birdlike, sparkling in delicate mini solos and at time scurrying and whirling.

Then came the pulsating Max Richter (B.1966) Recomposed: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons: Autumn. Sally-Ann Djachenko was the accomplished soloist for this section , with almost at times fiery sparks erupting but then an elegant, almost weeping atmosphere. The violin showed off and pours out a lyrical ‘aria’ while the orchestra accompanied. Towards the end there was an atmosphere of a sheen of heat.

Jaakko Kuusisto (B.1974) Between Seasons for String Orchestra Op.7: First Snow followed, slow, oozing with an underlying melody. This was contrasted with a brisk jumpy section and spiky,  quivering strings.


Mark O’Connor (B.1961) The American Seasons (Four Seasons of an American Life): Summer followed – richly layered , ebbing and flowing .The music was fiery and spirited, the melody taken, repeated and developed. The orchestra was really ‘ into’ this piece,, quite a few members nodding along in time to the music. Jonny Ng on solo violin dazzled with a spectacular,  blistering solo that left one gasping. Joel Woods on guitar also featured,  defining and establishing the rhythm and best, at times sounding like raindrops.

Joel Woods then played two banjo solos, the first was touching , plaintive and full of cascading notes. .The second was partly swirling with the spectacular show off banjo racing , the orchestra trying to catch up,  but this then changed to a more formal,  stately and slower mood.

We then heard the hushed , sonorous Four World Seasons: Tibetan Winter by Roxanna Panufnik (B.1968) with Anne Horton on solo violin. There was an atmosphere as if everything was blanketed in snow.

The final work was a vibrant , leaping performance of Astor Piazzolla’s (1921-1992) Four Seasons of Buenos Aires: Primavera Porteña (Spring) which was mostly a dialogue between Brendan Joyce on solo violin and the orchestra in tango format.

Running time allow roughly 80 minutes.





This exciting, rather unusual concert was brought to us by Camerata, Queensland’s chamber orchestra, and was  filmed at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane. They bring to life the epic poem of the same name. They tell the tale as written by twelfth century Persian mystic and poet, Attar of Nishapur, using Lembit Beecher’s music and interspersed with actor, Liz Buchanan, giving an impassioned expressive reading of the Peter Sis book based on the allegorical tale. The stage has a wonderful setting as if it is like a bird’s nest and there are screens with projections of the illustrations.

First up was Mendelssohn’s Sinfonia in B Minor, where you could hear the birds having an anxious discussion. At first it is gentle and lyrical, then changes to emphatic, scurrying, swooping circles. A rhythmic, waltz-like melody is stated and developed, with a vigorous beat, but the Sinfonia returns to a fluttering, anxious mood as if a bird is trapped in a cage. 

Peter Sis’ book, his first for adults, is based on the allegorical quest as told by Attar of Nishapur. It is a journey of self discovery,  of meditation,  of love and faith and what it means to be human. The birds,  led by the hoopoe, set off in search of a king and traverse seven valleys- quest, love, understanding, detachment, unity, amazement and death. .The birds that make it to the mountain are brought to realise that the king is actually all and each of them. Sis’s illustrations are magnificent, and at times incredibly detailed (for example, the illustration of the peacock) Buchanan reads five parts of the book . Continue reading CAMERATA QUEENSLAND – THE CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS