A most striking and unusual concert. part of the Live at Lunch series, ,Jane Rutter’s guests this time were the amazing Nexas Saxophone Quartet ( Michael Duke on soprano saxophone , Andrew Smith on alto saxophone , Nathan Henshaw on tenor Saxophone and Jay Byrnes on baritone Saxophone together with opera star Peter Coleman-Wright. The noteworthy rather unconventional arrangements were generally for the saxophone quartet and sometimes included Coleman-Wright on piano.
The concert specifically looked at cabaret works by composers from the Weimar Era to WWII, putting the works and the turbulence of the era in context and looking at how many of the Weimar composers, such as Weill, were driven into exile in the USA and the quartet played the role of various composers, introducing the audience members to their life stories and works – Henshaw evoked Franz Schreker, Byrnes became Hans Eisler, Smith portrayed Bertolt Brecht, while Duke was Robert Stolz. The quartet played with great energy and smooth precision full of virtuosity and fine ensemble work. Continue reading LIVE AT LUNCH : COMPOSERS IN EXILE→
The latest in the delicious series of Live at Lunch concerts under the artistic direction of internationally renowned flautist Jane Rutter was entitled UNSENT LOVE LETTERS: MEDITATIONS ON ERIK SATIE for all us romantics at heart. This time the two friends joining her were Tamara – Anna Cislowksa and Elena Kats-Chernin both on pianos.
THE GREAT ROMANTICS was a most delicious concert . This was the latest in the Live at Lunch series as directed and performed by internationally renowned flautist Jane Rutter and two of her friends Simon Tedeschi ( piano ) and Roger Benedict ( viola) .
Rutter wore a long glamourous red dress and was draped with a feather boa. All three took turns in introducing the various works . Most of the works were by early great Romantic composers ( Schuman ,Schubert and Brahms) . Several of the works are familiar as song cycles here arranged for the trio.
The first work was the first movement of Schubert’sArpeggione Sonata ( arranged for viola and piano ) with a wistful piano opening and a melancholy viola that became a whirling waltzlike dialogue for the two . The music ebbed and flowed with thunderous angry comments by the piano, but this changed and became fragile and delicate with fluttering piano . The came a yearning viola mini solo and pulsating piano.Continue reading LIVE AT LUNCH SERIES: THE GREAT ROMANTICS→
The latest concert as part of the Live at Lunch series was entitled THIRD CULTURE reuniting artistic director of the series internationally renowned flautist Jane Rutter and Australian musician and composer John Huie with their friends from former chamber group POSH – Hugh Fraser (double bass), Sally Schinckel (cello) Andrew Wilkie assorted vibes and percussion and Maharshi Raval on tabla and Indian percussion.
Indian, Arabic & Chinese-inspired classical music were blended with Australian world music for flute, guitar, cello, double bass, Chinese banjo and Indian percussion.in an exotic, heady mix. There was inspired ensemble playing throughout . Rutter – or sometimes Huie – introduced the various works and told us how the group reunited and the CD of ‘Third Culture’ was brought to fruition. Continue reading THIRD CULTURE – LIVE AT LUNCH @ THE CONCOURSE→
Live at Lunch
RAVEL STRING QUARTET, RAVEL & FAURÉ DEUX PAVANNES
THE CONCOURSE NOVEMBER 2017
To round off the 2017 series of Live at Lunch concerts we were treated to a most elegant and inspiring concert, with a majorly French feel , featuring artistic director Jane Rutter the renowned flautist and the tremendous Acacia Quartet led by Lisa Stewart. Founded in 2010, Acacia Quartet has quickly won great respect for their versatile and inventive programs which often couple established repertoire with the unorthodox. In 2013 Acacia was nominated for both an ARIA Award and an APRA-AMCOS Art Music Award.
The Acacia members were in orchestral black while Rutter was dramatic in a red and black outfit.
First up we heard an enchanting version of the lush, lyrical and seductive Pavane by Faure ( arr George Pikler) with Rutter on her favourite golden flute . A pavane is a Renaissance dance that’s generally described as a formal processional walk accompanied by a stately melody. The performance was full of elegant floating grace .
The main section of the concert was devoted to Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major in four movements as performed by the Acacia Quartet.
Ravel dedicated his work to Faure and it leans towards neo-Classicism . It was written in 1903 when he was 28. The quartet played magnificently , intently and with a great sense of being a unified whole .The first movement was passionate and questioning , volcanically ebbing and flowing. Rippling sections were contrasted with sharp spiky ones and it had a soft shimmering finish (note the use of pizzicato too.)
The second movement dashed off to a boisterous exuberant start and included dizzying scurrying violins. A passionate lamenting segment was contrasted with a stinging one. The third movement was fluid and intense and the final movement was fast and emphatic, full of dynamic intensity and was bubbling and flowing in parts. The finale is challenging because of its constantly shifting tonal changes and the Quartet handled this brilliantly.
Pessard’s Andalouse and Bolero followed taking us to Spain (the Andalouse , elegant and courtly with dominating swirling , bubbling flute ) and then the vibrant Bolero a bit more French ( no , NOT Ravel’s) with its darting shimmering flute and bubbling strings.
Before the final piece the Mayor of Willoughby Gail Giles Gidney was introduced and Rutter announced the most exciting season of seven concerts for 2018 .
The concert concluded with the heartfelt, delicate and flowing Pavane pour Une Infante Defunte by Ravel (1899). It is a meditation on grief and loss and a way of life that has disappeared. As we left for lunch we could buy CDs and brochures for the 2018 season were handed out – the box office was extremely busy!
Live at Lunch RAVEL STRING QUARTET, RAVEL & FAURÉ DEUX PAVANNES was at the Concourse for one performance only 15 November 2017 . For more information visit: http://theconcourse.com.au/live-lunch-2017-2/
The packed audience was swooning with delight at the latest Live at Lunch concert at the Concourse entitled LOVE SONGS AND LULLABIES.
The concert featured Artistic Director Jane Rutter on flute, Vincent Colagiuri on piano and opera superstar Teddy Tahu Rhodes who performed a delicious selection of classic love songs and lullabies from Broadway including works by Elgar, Rogers & Hammerstein, Schumann, Fauré, Cole Porter, Lerner & Loewe and more!
Colagiuri and Tahu Rhodes both looked debonair in magnificently cut suits whilst Rutter was elegant in white and silver.
The latest thrilling concert as part of the Live at Lunch series featured the artistic director renowned flautist Jane Rutter and special guests pianists Simon Tedeschi and Kevin Hunt.
Kevin Hunt is a jazz pianist-composer who has performed regularly in the Sydney jazz scene since 1979. Hunt currently performs regularly with vocalist Emma Pask and pianist Simon Tedeschi and is a lecturer at the Conservatorium of Music.
All three were obviously having a hugely enjoyable time as did the packed audience.
The stage was mostly bare apart from a large projection screen and two shiny black pianos facing one another.
Rutter wore a glittering gold and yellow outfit and the two men were dressed in suits.
One hundred years after the First World War, bullets, bones and bombs are still being discovered by farmers in the fields of France. They remind us of the men of Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Germany, and France who died so painfully in the trenches in the rain and mud.
I was privileged to be at this latest Live at Lunch concert and hear this luminous, soulful performance.
The marvellous quartet of musicians consisted of Jane Rutter on flute, Tamara-Anna Cislowska on piano, David Pereira on cello and Christopher Lantham ( the director of The Flowers of War) on violin. Rutter wore a striking kimono/suit like outfit in turquoise and black the other performers were in orchestral black. Continue reading LIVE AT LUNCH : MONET : THE FLOWERS OF WAR @ THE CONCOURSE→
This was a very exciting, dynamic and unusual concert, part of the Live at Lunch series at the Concourse, devised and presented by internationally renowned flautist Jane Rutter.
The performance opened dramatically with a very unconventional version of the traditional balled The Minstrel Boy featuring a new arrangement by Jane Rutter. Rutter, wearing a heavily brocaded kimono like outfit with a gold outer layer over pink and green floral underlay, was superb on flute with Blak Douglas equally good on didgeridoo.
Rutter then went on to talk about how she has a great sense of belonging to the land and country and its songlines and how the flute and the didgeridoo are two of the world’s instruments.
The latest and last in this year’s series of Live at Lunch concerts was based on the idea of the spirit world /the occult and the magic of nocturnal love . Hence the title THE VAMPIRE DIARIES which Jane Rutter also announced had allusions to the very popular Harry Potter series.
Rutter was extremely Gothicky-elegant in a glittering black out fit with a cloak around her shoulders and a white scarf cravat around her neck. Guest artist Simon Tedeschi was stylish in a smartly cut dark suit.
The latest delicious offering in the Live At Lunch series this was a wonderful short concert celebrating Italy in music.
Rutter was elegant in black slacks and a lacy top combined with red shoes. She was joined for this concert by Giuseppe Zangari on classical guitar and Marcello Maio on piano and piano-accordion. Rutter mostly used her favourite gold flute but also the piccolo depending on what was required and at times both she and Maio changed instruments mid piece.
The opening Sonata in A Major for Flute and Guitar by Giulani was charming and sprightly with the flute darting and swooping.
Drigo’s fluid Serenade from Les Millions D’Arlequin followed , with is circular melodies and was played with wonderful timing and phrasing (as were all the works selected).
Next came a crisp, sparkling yet lush version of Michel Peguri’s Bourrrasque.
A dynamic infectious performance by Maio on accordion followed.
The first of the 2016 programme was entitled Classical Heroes and the Art of Seduction . We were privileged to have international opera and musical sensation divo Teddy Tahu Rhodes as special guest to enchant us. The concert’s chosen theme was love and seduction.
Curator of the series, internationally renowned flautist Jane Rutter, welcomed us and then introduced Rhodes, who came on stage on crutches after a recent accident. Rhodes mostly sang, perched on a stool.
The latest splendid LIVE AT LUNCH concert was entitled ’ Strauss, Ravel Canteloube’‘ and featured curator Jane Rutter on flute (and assorted other instruments), Vincent Colagiuri on piano and quadruple threat ( yes quadruple threat) and Opera Australia star soprano Taryn Fiebig both singing and playing the cello (who knew that she had majored in cello at WAPPA?! ).
The roughly ¾ audience in the stalls consisted mostly of those over 55 although there were a few younger.
Rutter was stunning in a long sleeveless flowing green gown while Fiebig wore an intriguing, rather odd, possibly futuristic in style black bolero top and a horizontally quilted grey long skirt rather unflattering and stiff. Handsome pianist Vincent Colagiuri was dapper in a tuxedo. Continue reading Live at Lunch: Strauss, Ravel , Canteloube→
The packed house absolutely adored this concert , the latest in the Live at Lunch series as devised, curated and performed in by internationally renowned flautist Jane Rutter.
This time Rutter wore a stunning long sleeved slinky dark blue long dress with silver beading cascading down the front. The dress had slits very high on both sides to reveal elegant black trousers .
For a charming introduction Rutter played two two Renaissance Dances – a ‘Galliard’ by Dowland arranged for solo flute by Rutter , and ‘Ballet’ by de Moy arranged for solo piccolo by Rutter , accompanied by her friends the Acacia Quartet led by soloist Lisa Stewart. The first was poignant, lilting and melancholy, the second was more dramatic and Rutter was stamping the rhythms with her feet.
After this the Quartet was properly ‘ introduced’ to the audience and we were then treated to a sumptuous , delicious version of Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons ‘ – all four of them ,not just the overused ‘ Spring’ , with Rutter as featured soloist on her gold performance flute for ‘Spring’. It was a dynamic , enchanting performance. Composed in 1725 ’The Four Seasons ‘ is one of Vivaldi’s most popular works . Vivaldi’s original arrangement for solo violin with string quartet and basso continuo – similar to the Acacia’s line up – helped to establish the form of the concerto in musical terms. “Winter” is dotted with silvery pizzicato notes from the high strings, making us think perhaps of icy rain and sleet whereas “Summer” evokes a thunderstorm in its final movement, (which is why the movement is often called “Storm “ ).
Each season is developed in three movements, with a slow movement between two faster ones (and these movements likewise vary in mood and tempo among the seasons). In the ‘Summer ‘you could feel the heat and langour, in the ‘Winter’ movement the contrasts between fire and ice. The Spring movement was lyrical, one could almost say pastoral ,and you could hear the birds joyously calling. The Autumn section is meant to evoke the harvest and its celebrations. In the ’Winter’ movement there were shimmering , shivering sections for the violin .The finale was haunting and featured some ecstatic , soaring playing .
After that performance which was rapturously received, Rutter gave a short talk about the program and the narrative that Vivaldi proposed ( or , rather , ‘instructed’ ) for the work, highlighting the leitmotifs etc in each season to listen out for (eg the barking dog in the second movement of ‘Spring’ , in Summer the soporific feel , the dancing in Autumn for the harvest etc ) which was much fun.
Then came another Vivaldi piece ‘ Il Cardellino ‘ (‘The Goldfinch ‘) with Rutter on flute as the bird. It is in three movements, at first tweeting , exuberant and darting , the second was far slower and more melancholy , the violins being held rather like lutes or guitars and played pizzicato. In the third movement the flute was stronger again, shimmering.
Because of the rapturous reception, for an encore they repeated the slow movement from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons ‘Winter’, very passionately and eloquently played, this time with Rutter and Stewart sharing the melodic line.
The concert ran overtime and we adjourned for lunch, looking forward to the next in the series!
FOUR SEASONS AND A GOLDFINCH was a one off performance last Wednesday July 2 part of the Live at Lunch series at the Concourse Chatswood. Running time 90 minutes without interval.
This ravishing, superb concert had Amelia Farrugia channeling her inner Melba,Sutherland and Bronhill – three Australian great divas , combined with a touch of Callas perhaps?
Maestro Chris Carter, dapper in orchestral black, was tremendous as the accompanist and did a splendid job jumping between all the different styles of music.
International star Rutter , organiser of the Live at lunch series, was tres chic in a black and white ensemble with a Beardsley like print and floaty scarf around her neck. She welcomed us and introduced Farrugia and Carter and featured in several of the pieces.
Another tremendous concert by the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra. MAJESTIC MOZART was triumphant and thrilling, with the audience enthusiastically screaming bravo at the end .
Under the umbrella title ‘Majestic Mozart’ this time the conductor was maestro Alexander Briger who led the orchestra with a controlled, finicky yet delicate and precise touch.
First up was Ravel’s ‘Le Tombeau de Couperin’ , here in the 1919 four movements for orchestra version ,which had almost a fairytale pastoral feel to it with possible Debussy influences . The work was given a luminous performance of delicate poise.
The first of this year’s ‘Live at Lunch’ concert series at the Concourse at Chatswood was superb. Jane Rutter and Simon Tedeschi’s playing was mesmerizing .The packed, thrilled audience loved it .
Rutter wore a striking off the shoulder, heavily embroidered, Chinese style dress that floated. Tedeschi was elegant in a dark suit and tie. Rutter wore her long curly hair free and at times posed and looked coquettishly over her shoulder at the audience whilst playing. Also of note was that both played at times barefoot, in homage to Satie, a ‘free spirit’.