Tag Archives: Diana Weston


Above  : Soprana Danielle Grant made a fine contribution to the contrasts needed in this programme.

Keyboardist Diana Weston and regular Thoroughbass musicians offered a finely thought out and diverse programme. It both stimulated our senses and contributed boldly to the re-emergence of Live classical music in Sydney.

In a keen juxtaposition which actually works really well, we heard Debussy’s Ariettes Oublieés, the sensual setting of Paul Verlaine’s heart-on-the-sleeve poetry followed by more joyous Ignaz Pleyel’s piano and violin sonata and dance music and songs from the early Australian colony.

This mixed swag of treasures reached us in the elegant venue with equal swagfuls of elegance, nuance and directness. From the outset we were charmed by Danielle Grant’s mellifluous vocal quality and a subtle, sympathetic piano accompaniment from Diana Weston for this song cycle. Continue reading THOROUGHBASS : ‘FORGOTTEN SONGS’ @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY.


“Soprano Danielle Grant was a stunning performer of the texts in a range of languages…the distinct flavours of each song were instantly captured.” Sydney Arts Guide

A lovely Sunday afternoon concert is to be presented by soprano Danielle Grant and pianist Diana Weston at the Mosman Art Gallery.

The concert will feature songs that are nice, songs that are nasty, songs that are just plain weird. But they all will charm you in one way or another.

There’s Britten’s fascinating but unsettling A Charm of Lullabies, a selection from Christopher Robin’s Song Book (Harold Fraser-Simson/Milne) and more. It’s surprising how insightful a 3-year-old can be! Some floral gifts by Ann Carr-Boyd, and a concoction of spells in songs based on three Walter de la Mare poems by Diana Blom. Intertwining the song-sets are sonatas by Johann Christian Bach – tuneful, playful and charming.

The concert will take place on Sunday November 3 at 3pm at the Mosman Art Gallery, 1 Art Gallery Way, Mosman.

Featured imaged- Soprano  Danielle Grant


Featured photo – Guest artist Michael Tsalka on harpsichord.

This was a very charming and delightful concert performed with delicacy and vigour. There was fine ensemble work by all and some dazzling harpsichord playing. Under the direction of Diana Weston we were privileged to welcome the return of Michael Tsalka on harpsichord.The program featured six short works. First we heard the elegant, quite operatic Johann Freidrich Fasch’s Overture arranged by Stephen Yates. This piece was stately yet lyrical and at times very fast paced.

Next was Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto RV 319 arranged for two harpsichords in three movements again arranged by Stephen Yates. The first movement began with a fast and insistent feel, one harpsichord acting like the violin soloist, the other the orchestra in a delightful dialogue between the two.

The second movement was more heartfelt and sorrowful, melancholic and reflective– however this changed to cascading, shimmering, faster, rippling notes on the keyboard taking us through to the third movement. This was an animated discussion between the two harpsichords full of crystalline delicacy and circling rhythms that led to a bright, powerful conclusion. Continue reading THOROUGHBASS OVERTURE AND CONCERTO @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY


Have you ever considered the fate of the humble childhood toy  “Jack in the box”  ?

Well, Rosemary Dobson has:

“He crouches low and supplicant/His elbows knocking on the wood…/He waits the tapping at the locks/He hears the children calling”Jack!”…/They think he sleeps, but how he weeps/His small tears falling with no sound……”

Rosemary Dobson was a distinguished and prolific Australian poet who died in 2012 at the age of 92. Her poetry is somewhat more intellectual and detached rather than visceral…but nevertheless she still writes movingly of the human experience.

COCK CROW puts a handful of her poems in a musical context. Leonie Cambage is the poet’s voice (she trained as an opera singer), Shaun Ng plays Lute, Viola da Gamba and Theorbo, and  Diana Weston plays Harpsichord. Continue reading COCK CROW : ROSEMARY DOBSON IN WORDS AND MUSIC @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY

Thoroughbass -The Viole Divine @ St Luke’s Church Mosman

Tara Hashambuoy, Diana Weston and Shaun Ng feature in this latest Thoroughbass concert

THE VIOLE DIVINE at St Luke’s Church Mosman was a concert which took a satisfying glimpse at music featuring the seven-stringed viola da gamba. All five items on the programme revealed the nature of eighteenth century chamber music.

Compositional complexities, ensemble textures and period ornamentation were delivered by Thoroughbass’ trio of violin, harpsichord and the featured viola da gamba.

This concept exposed the audience to a varied display of the expressivity, characteristic mellowness and agility of the viola da gamba as written for by major French and German composers. Shaun Ng’s playing was sensitive and well-nuanced. He showed a desired restraint but was always ready to switch to fiery virtuosic playing when required. Continue reading Thoroughbass -The Viole Divine @ St Luke’s Church Mosman

Thoroughbass – Flying West @ Mosman Art Gallery

Australian Composer Ann Carr-Boyd

The ‘Flying West’ concert was a culmination of two years’ hard work in which compositions from the 1970s by Ann Carr-Boyd were introduced to a modern audience. The works have been recently published and recorded, as well as the majority of them programmed in this diverse and captivating performance event.

An exciting snapshot of richly creative and individual compositions was supplied, and the concert had pleasing momentum. The performances by Diana Weston and Thoroughbass of these interesting works made for an entertaining concert experience in the bright acoustic of the Mosman Art Gallery hall.

The programme also included a new commission, “Flying West”, written in 2014. The composition, responding to a poem about the work day of the Flying Doctor staff, has been scored for harpsichord, recorder and cello. The intimate tone colour combinations and highly evocative gestures of this new piece reflect the earlier works, whose ingenuity avoided the dissonant avant-garde manipulations of the era. Continue reading Thoroughbass – Flying West @ Mosman Art Gallery

Thoroughbass – Tout Francais

Harpsichordist Diana Weston, string player Shaun Ng and vocalist Anna Fraser provided some fine ensemble moments.

This concert joyously adhered to its advertised French theme. It celebrated the instrumental and vocal music composed during the rule of Louis XIV. The audience was introduced to a range of interesting works from lesser known composers than the often heard greats of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The programme was well constructed to provide constant variety of ensemble and style.

String player Shaun Ng and vocalist Anna Fraser brought to the afternoon their experience, solid musicianship and exciting attention to performance practice. The balance with harpsichordist Diana Weston was always well suited to the dance or vocal works filling the church acoustic. Continue reading Thoroughbass – Tout Francais

Britten’s Phaedra

Early music group Thoroughbass shared the stage with soprano Heather Hannah. Featured photo conductor Sarah Penicka-Smith

This weekend early music group Thoroughbass joined with award winning singer Heston Hannah to present a collection of baroque and contemporary works at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

The concert was headlined with Britten’s Phaedra, which was presented with a great flair for storytelling by Hannah. The strings and harpsichord work in a kind of chorus and response with the soprano voice, featuring an urgently descending atonal melodic line on the violins and low, humming sustained notes as an erratic rhythm on the timpani accompanies the vocals. Hannah’s voice perfectly suits the Greek mythological tale of Phaedra’s forbidden love. Her choice of guttural tone throughout the recitatives particularly suits the distress that Phaedra feels and her acceptance of the inevitability of death. Continue reading Britten’s Phaedra