20 May 2017

Come in Torino, Berlin

It's our CSO again and there were some interesting twists in this concert. It's the Cello concert of the subscription series. The cello featured Italian (Torino-born) cellist, Umberto Clerici, now principal at SSO and lecturer at the Sydney Con. He played Schumann Cello concerto Amin Op.129. Nice, all from memory as is done. Some impressive playing, especially the encore which he introduced as a modern Italian/Australian crossover (if I understood correctly - we couldn't hear his patter too well) with a rocky second half. That was exciting and challenging and everyone was talking of it, at interval and after. Haydn's overture to L'isola disabitata preceded that. Then, after interval, the most Australian and the most intriguing piece of the night for me, Sculthorpe String sonata no.3 Jabiru dreaming. It's clearly an evocation of the outback - specifically Kakadu - and how true it was! I first noticed with bussing insects that were so true to aural life, then later with a few bird flocks taking off. All with non-traditional techniques - string slides and sul ponticello and stick bowing. Stunningly true to the sounds of the bush. Then the traditional tour de force, Brahms symph no.3. I am playing no.4 in a few weeks and discovering just how good is Brahms. This one I don't particularly know, but I could recognise similar fairly simple lines and twisted rhythms but this seemed to have more virtuosic bass parts. Satisfying either way. The conductor was another invitee, Stanley Dodds. I didn't find it easy to follow some of his instructions, often broad and bar-long, but these are professionals and he is Berlin Phil material. Hmm. Obviously I have much to learn in this field! But a good night out with our much-loved local orchestra.

The Canberra Symphony Orchestra performed Haydn, Schumann, Sculthorpe and Brahms under Stanley Dodds (conductor) with soloist Umberto Clerici (cello) at Llewellyn Hall.

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