21 January 2016


This was the third orchestral concert of the AYO National Music Camp and the penultimate concert for the series. It was a beauty and much anticipated, for the Beethoven 7 and the John Adams. The Carl VIne was less anticipated. In the end, I enjoyed John Adams, played by the Smalley Chamber Orchestra with a conductor. I was intrigued by the loops and the minimal but continuing changes, mulled over the history of the concept of loops given their ubiquity in much contemporary electronic music (and my recent desire to purchase a looper), although I did feel the piece carried on somewhat. Not so all minimalism, but this was quite early and new. But how well played it was, and clearly conducted by Monica Curro. Then Carl Vine Tempest Suite. This was unanticipated because I/we did not know what to expect, other than Australian composer, but how much I enjoyed it. Luscious, balletic music with romantic flourish and expanse. An unexpected gem played by the Alexander Orchestra under Brad Cohen. I followed the conducting and had no idea where his 1 was, but his flourishes seemed to draw nice dynamics from the orchestra and it sounded great. Then the Beethoven symphony no.7 after the interval. I was floored. Typical Beethoven, which I am now coming to recognise from playing a few. Dogged, always moving, never clumsy, incisive starts, canons, quick scherzo and the rest with some dastardly difficult lines for bass and presumably equally so for the other parts. Pretty much scalar, but long scales over the whole neck and back again, and again. Congrats to these kids who can perform such a feat at this true speed. I stand in awe.

The Smalley Chamber Orchestra performed Adams under Monica Curro (conductor). The Alexander Orchestra performed Vine and Beethoven under Brad Cohen (conductor). Both performed at Llewellyn Hall for the Australian Youth Orchestra National Music Camp 2016.

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