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→
This is a glorious concert magnificently played. Three works by composers, the final ones in each composer’s offering in the genre. Selby is joined by her brilliant international ‘friends’ Susie Park (Violin: Concertmaster Minnesota Symphony Orchestra), Stefanie Farrands (Principal Viola ACO) and Timo-Veikko Valve (Principal Cello ACO) for a program of Schubert, Schumann and Shostakovich. The concert was recorded at City Recital Hall under strict health and safety protocols.
Each work was introduced by Selby and the others. The first two works, the trios , were performed by Selby, Park and Valve.
First we heard the marvellous Schubert (1797 – 1828) ‘Piano Trio in E-flat major for Piano, Violin and Cello, Op. posth. 148, D 897, Notturno’. This was composed in 1827 but only published decades later, as what the publisher decided to call Notturno. And yes there is a night time like atmosphere. Continue reading SELBY AND FRIENDS : A FINAL OFFERING : ONLINE NOW→
Above: Violin soloist Glenn Christensen played Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with TMO. Featured image: The Metropolitan Orchestra and Chief Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams. Photo credit: John B Chen.
The fourth concert in TMO’s 2016 season, ‘The Great’ was a substantial undertaking. Its exciting programme consisted of two very well-known works regarded as being great due to their inspiration, structure and impact.
These works were written by two composers considered amongst the greatest of their era and of all time. TMO admirably met the challenge of presenting early nineteenth century works by Beethoven and Schubert in fresh and captivating interpretations.
To begin this concert’s juxtaposition of two great works, TMO collaborated with violinist Glenn Christensen in a performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major Opus 61. At all times throughout this work TMO supported the soloist well.
The essence of Beethoven’s uniquely direct rhetoric was delivered through clear realisation of thematic material. Full orchestral textures were satisfyingly blended and Beethoven’s burgeoning Romantic leanings were evident in striking declamations from the orchestra alone.
Violinist Glenn Christensen presented an extremely sensitive and elegant opening movement to this work. Without the hectic bravura often heard, the structure of the violin solo utterances was expressively and at times uniquely outlined. The building blocks of this famous movement were laid down successfully with considerable grace and unhurried reverence.
This work’s slow movement demands an interpretation from soloist and orchestra which maintains beauty and lyricism over a difficult and prolonged expanse. The attempt on this occasion was successful in this regard. It also was the best balanced playing between violin soloist and TMO heard in the work.
The performance of this movement yielded a steady thread of exquisite cantabile voice and an exemplary rendering of authentic Beethoven expansive slow movement fare. As in the remainder of the work, Christensen’s moments reaching to the very high register were gentle yet stunning in their precision.
TMO and Christensen launched themselves out of the central movement’s stillness and into the final rondo movement with instant and great contrast. The theme was joyously characterised and we were treated to some energetic fireworks in the violin elaboration.
Following interval Schubert’s profound Symphony No 9 in C major D944 ‘The Great’ was played with great drama, great control and great respect for Schubert’s architectural and dramatic ambition. The creative concepts and textural variety of the composer’s vision were well promoted. We heard this work’s intricacies and climaxes being well articulated despite the large forces assembled.
From the symphony’s outset and introduction from the horn section there was an air of noble restraint. This continued particularly in TMO’s winds whenever needed throughout. Oboe lines were nicely drawn and held above the rest of the orchestral colour. The oboe parts which feature in the second movement were also steadfast and captivating.
The contrasts in the third movement Scherzo and Trio were superbly handled, making this section of the symphonic journey a crisp, buoyant and satisfying event. TMO showcased themselves and Schubert as progressive artisans in this movement, a highlight of the performance.
At the conclusion of this symphony and the concert TMO showed no cracks in their stamina or artistry. This was yet another satisfying Met Series Concert. The final Met Concert for 2016 at the ABC Centre takes place on November 12. It features TMO’s principal clarinettist in a work by Elena Kats-Chernin. The programme will also include Beethoven’s loved Symphony No 7.
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.
This collaboration by two groups well known to Sydney audiences is a significant one. It breaks down so beautifully many preconceptions of fixed genres, historical sound options and what audiences expect to hear from particular composer’s works.
BROKEN CONSORTS is a performance practice workshop which maintains the two groups’ period identities whilst premiering possibilities using an exciting blend of resources. The essence and energy of compositions from each period are maintained and the early music pieces in particular are further celebrated through inventive rescoring. The playing of very recent works, including the highlight of a premiere work commissioned for the event illustrates that such blending is not only possible but an interesting new direction.
Composer Damien Ricketson’s introduction to his 2003 work Trace Elements explained his invention of a new notation based on tablature for early lute music. His work’s exploration of this and its potential in the parts for a flexible blend of strings and wind is consistent with the goals of the entire concert. The work’s elements of stasis as well as dramatic shifts were expressively delivered by Ironwood and Ensemble Offspring members together. Continue reading Broken Consorts – Ensemble Offspring and Ironwood @ The Utzon Room→
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→
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