The Australian Chamber Orchestra’s STEVEN ISSERLIS PLAYS SHOSTAKOVICH would have to be one of the most mesmerising and intense concerts by the ACO in a long while. Under Tognetti’s stylish leadership the Orchestra was in magnificent form , and the Cello Concerto No.1 in E-flat major by Shostakovich as played by guest artist their old friend Steven Isserlis was absolutely amazing .
First we heard the world premiere Samuel Adams Movements (for us and them) which featured fast furious dazzling playing in the first Movement. The second movement was pulsating and slower. Tognetti stated the melody the Orchestra embroidered upon that with some sharp spiky comments. The third movement was shimmering and whirling with unusual use of the cellos and the main melody theme held and ‘sung’ like an extra long breath .The last tumbling insistent movement made me think of darting fish underwater. The work included slow chromatic ascents and sections where the strings were rather fractured and yet interwoven. Continue reading ACO MESMERISES WITH ‘STEVEN ISSERLIS PLAYS SHOSTAKOVICH’