23 May 2017

Mike 2

Mike 2 should really be Mike 1. This was a concert by Andrew Rumsey and friends at Wesley leading up to AR's visit to the US - a visit that includes performances at several festivals and Carnegie Hall. The feature, longest, last programmed work was Mike Dooley's first piano concerto. It's scored for small forces at this stage, somewhat like a sonata for quintet, but what a successful, attractive work. Mike explained that it contrasts 4 against 3, symbolically grace against truth, moving through 3 and 4, combining, eg for 7 (although I seemed to count 5 for most of the second movement), moving through keys with 4 sharps or 3 flats and the like. I found it wonderfully convincing and satisfying. That's not all, AR also played a short piece for solo piano earlier in the show, by Mike, called Le Torbillon (=The whirlwind). This is the one Andrew will play at Carnegie Hall. So, from Canberra to Carnegie: today's small world. But otherwise the show was a series of shorter pieces, mostly solo piano or piano with one of two other instruments, and one solo guitar and one quartet. And it was a seriously interesting collection: Poulenc Novelette in Bb minor, Rachmaninov Moment musicaux, through a flute duet by Ibert, several by Ian Clarke, a clarinet duet with Jewish themes from Bela Kovacs and a slightly jovial film theme by John Williams, and some Piazzola, Milonga del Angel and Vuelvo al Sur. Then Paul McCartney Yesterday arranged for classical guitar and Speigel im speigel for a quartet of violin, cello, clarinet and flute. Then Mike's piano concerto and an encore of Saint-Saens La cygne for piano and cello. The playing throughout was hugely impressive with dense concentration, keen ears and hot chops, but there was also humour, if mainly from host Andrew, so this was a wonderfully entertaining but also challenging and satisfying outing. And Mike's fabulous, serious, impressive works were an absolutely core component. I can only be in awe all round. And Mike had another world premier for a song cycle sung by Louise Page the next day: sadly I missed that one. I am in awe.

Andrew Rumsey (piano) performed with Laura van Rijn (flute), Thomas Azoury (clarinet), James Larsen (cello), Mia Stanton (violin) and Matt Withers (guitar) at Wesley. They performed Mike Dooley's first piano concerto (world premiere, scored for chamber group) and Mike's Le Torbillon, as well as a string of other modern composers.

1 comment:

Whispering Gums said...

I must forward this to Hannah, as I'm sure this is the "Andy" who used to accompany the Strange Weather Gospel Choir. How great to hear about him, and that he's off to Carnegie Hall. Sounds like a lovely concert.