8 September 2015
Finally Selby. I've heard about these concerts but never attended. Kathryn Selby is a Sydney pianist. She regularly gathers some mates, top players in Sydney, to perform at the NGA (and Angel Place in Sydney). It's chamber music, ranging over time. This time her friends were Sophie Rowell, Tobias Breider, Julian Smiles and "development artist" Anna Da Silva Chen. The music was great, but so was the performance. Absolutely convincing. They started with Ross Edwards Piano trio (piano, violin, cello), then Fauré Piano Quartet no.1 C minor Op.15 (added viola), then Schumann Piano quintet Eb major Op.44. The titles were none too flash. I was chatting with others after about favourites, but I couldn't pick one. They were all hugely different in style, but impressive and demands and also in interest. My ears pricked up for the spacious piano and melodic cello and the explosive third movement in Edwards. But the canon and the pizz with gambolling piano in Faure appealled. And the attractiveness of the whole and fiery running scales in the fourth movement of Schumann. These guys had serious chops. Julian Smiles played with tablet and foot page switch, but he seemed to have a terrific memory: he didn't seem to look at it too often. The others had paper and Kathyrn had her page turner. All standard. And it was nice to see a young player being brought into the fold. She was very good but the difference is apparent in an A-B comparison like this. But this was seriously satisfying chamber music. Good reason for the following it clearly has.
Kathryn Selby (piano, leader) performed with Sophie Rowell (violin), Tobias Breider (viola), Julian Smiles (cello) and Anna Da Silva Chen (violin) at the NGA theatre.