23 October 2017


It was another successful outing for National Capital Orchestra. The program was called Brahms Double. The music was Brahms Double concerto, ie, Amin op.102 for cello and violin, local composer, Natlie Williams Chambers of the South and Respighi Belkis Queen of Sheba. The Williams was an airy, floating, pensive thing, a challenge to read and track even if the notes were easy enough. The counting is so often the challenge, especially in the rests. The Respighi was a clear story-telling outing, a yarn. All militarism or dreamy. It was written for a ballet but as a music performance it seems to always be played movement 1-3-2-4. Strange. The blue line leading across mvt 3 on the score looked like a kid had played with it, but it was on all the scores I saw. Again, there was counting, but also some difficult lines, not least demisemiquavers mixed semiquaver triplets and crochets and quavers. And the big fanfares featuring four long trumpets, with valves, but straightened, somewhere around a metre long: Fanfare or Herald trumpets? Then the feature, Brahms Double concerto, with husband and wife team, Julian Smiles, ex-Canberra SOM, and Dimity Hall, both ex-ACO and long-term Goldner String Quartet. It's a pleasure and an honour to play with such performers. All under Canberra's excellent, young conductor, Leonard Weiss. An excellent presentation by the orchestra and especially so by the soloists, and much glee all around at the party afterwards.

National Capital Orchestra played Brahms, Respighi and Williams in Llewellyn Hall under Leonard Weiss (conductor). The Brahms double concerto soloists were Dimity Hall (violin) and Julian Smiles (cello). For my fellow bass followers, the bass section was Roger Grime (principal), Geoff Prime and Eric Pozza.

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