From chamber music which re-works a Baroque master’s keyboard pieces to a masterful interpretation of a titan amongst the orchestral repertoire, The Metropolitan Orchestra (TMO) presented yet another inspiring concert in the 2015 Met Concert series.
This concert opened with Elena Kats-Chernin’s innovative musings on JS Bach’s Two Part Inventions for keyboard. The work transforms selected inventions into a chamber music treat for wind soloist and strings. Originally conceived for recorders and strings, this Met Concert version premiered the works performance on piccolo, flute and alto flute by TMO principal Svetlana Yaroslavskaya. Continue reading TMO MET CONCERT #4 @ EUGENE GOOSENS HALL→
The Metropolitan Orchestra (TMO) continues to illustrate their versatility and industry as an orchestra. Amongst some fourteen concerts and events for 2015, TMO appeared with John Farnham and Olivia Newton John in April. They have family concerts with children’s favourites Lah-Lah and Buzz planned for late May.
TMO took a gamble when programming Met Concert 2 with such savage contrasts between the works. It is a gamble which more than paid off for the orchestra. The sold out house could probably have sold a decent amount of tickets for a comfortably-seated repeat concert.
The TMO’s Met Concert #1 was stunning! This first concert in the 2015 season contained a challenging programme of very well-known works from the Baroque and Classical eras. These challenges were met by the soloists, orchestra and conductor Sarah-Grace Williams with discipline, energy, artistry and genuine enthusiastic music-making. If this concert is an indication of what is to emerge from TMO in 2015, then its audiences are in for quite a year.
As in many previous Met Concert series, the format included works highlighting one of the orchestra’s principals and also a guest artist. TMO strings were showcased in both chamber music and string orchestra contexts. The string orchestra was augmented and inspired by the talented Australian violinist Lisa Stewart.
TMO Principal Clarinetist Andrew Doyle presented us with a fine Mozart Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K 581 with well-balanced playing from the TMO’s string quartet featuring Nataliya Lukich, Christina Ong, Luke Spicer and Steve Meyer. Continue reading Met Concert #1 @ Eugene Goossens Hall→
The final Met Series concert for 2014 saw TMO in fine form delivering drama and atmosphere within the structure of works by Mozart, Sibelius and Brahms. The soloist for this evening was violinist Kirsten Williams, accompanied attentively by the orchestra.
Opening the program was the overture to Mozart’s opera ‘The Magic Flute’. Its contrasted sections of solemn and energetic music evoked the colourful layers of this fanciful story well. It was also a suitable prelude to the drama waiting to unfold in the Met Concert program.
In the hands of Kirsten Williams, excerpts from Sibelius’ Violin Concerto showed a mastery of rendering the sprawling melodic lines and constant changes of mood. Her tone was searching and pure in the upper register. There was a pleasing rapport with TMO, which supported with warm tone and consistency of mood alongside the soloist. The hushed anticipation in strings for the opening to the first movement was exquisite. Continue reading MET CONCERT # 4→
The well-received fourth TMO concert in its 2014 Met Series once again showcased a guest performance as well as substantial works for full orchestra alone. As throughout this year, the concert took place in the expansive environment of the Eugene Goosens hall. For the busy TMO, 2014 still contains a family concert of ‘Peter and the Wolf’, another Met Series concert and a week-long music cruise to conclude the year.
Met Concert #4 saw the orchestra joined by award-winning chamber music group, The Lyrebird Trio. This group comprises Queensland Conservatorium of Music graduates Glenn Christiansen (violin), Simon Cobcroft (cello) and Angela Turner (piano).This piano trio has enjoyed global success, and was a very welcome addition to this Met Concert solo spot. In this concert they brought us their communicative prowess and also Beethoven’s elegant Opus 56 ‘Triple Concerto’. Continue reading TMO with the Lyrebird Trio→
The Metropolitan Orchestra (TMO) is an orchestra of people who play for the love of it – mostly unpaid. This dedication and enthusiasm translated into their playing and made the evening a very pleasant one, despite some venue issues with car parking, lack of signage, interrogator lighting in the eyes of the audience etc.
The program consisted of two well-loved fifth symphonies: Beethoven’s and Tchaikovsky’s.
Beethoven was at the start of the romantic era and Tchaikovsky represents its height. It is easy for us to not realise how avant-garde and innovative Beethoven was. Symphony orchestras were never the same again after him, and all those who came after, including Tchaikovsky, built on his foundations.
This was the first time I had been in the Eugene Goossens auditorium. Despite its relatively small size, the venue has great acoustics and could well take the brass etc. of this orchestra and its chosen program. There was also a slight variation to the standard disposition of the orchestra, which worked well with this group in this space.
Both pieces being so well known, I will focus on the things I noticed about the TMO’s playing. Firstly, there was the freshness and enthusiasm of their playing. You could see they were really enjoying themselves, including the conductor! It seemed to me that the Scherzo movement was played a bit slower and more deliberately than one often hears it, but that was no problem really and encouraged me to really tune into it and not take it for granted. All the players were very professional, but I noticed the lead oboe in particular. Her sound was really beautiful, and, also it seemed to me her technique excellent (I am not myself an oboe player).
The second item was the Tchaikovsky 5th. Again, I noted the lovely oboe, but also some nice bassoon and French horn playing coming through. The Andante movement had a great cello lead and also made effective use of the clarinets and a lovely horn solo. The finale brought us to a triumphant finish and some great use of the timpani.
This was my first hearing of the TMO and I will certainly look forward to their 2014 Season. I was sitting next to some fans and found out that the TMO already have a regular following – in fact the concert was booked out. For those of you who like cruising, the TMO will be part of a cruise experience later next year on Radiance of the Seas. Sounds like a great holiday to me.
The Metropolitan Orchestra’s (TMO) performed their Fifth Anniversary Celebration Concert at the at the Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Centre, Ultimo on Saturday 2nd November, 2013.
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