28 January 2018
It’s a big call but I heard this room, at least for the music that was played there and my position in it, as the most clear and firm acoustics I can remember, throughout the frequency range. The bass was wonderfully rich and deep and present; the violins were perhaps edgy; the solo instruments, harp then flute (and organ) then viola were clear and strong (other than the organ which seemed light on, quiet, thin). But I was in raptures over this sound. This was the former Wesley church in Clunes, Victoria, now restored as part of the campus of Wesley College, Melbourne, as a country campus. The music that sounded so good was a string orchestra with soloists playing various concerti by Vivaldi, Telemann and Haydn on modern instruments. I just luxuriated in the richness and fullness of the tones and the joy of music of this early-classical-cum-baroque era. Our pleasure with music is a function of sound in space. This just filled the room with clarity and fullness. The pieces were Vivaldi Concerto Dmaj for harp RV93; Vivaldi Concerto Dmaj op.10 no.3 Il cardellino for flute; Telemann Concerto Gmaj for viola; Haydn Concerto no.1 Cmaj for organ and oboe Hob.XVIII. The soloists were Elisabetta Ghebbioni, Andrea Dainese, Lawrence Jacks and Anthony Halliday. I met up with bassist Tim Nelson (the first double bassists so far at this festival) and also with an old mate from Canberra, violinist Louise Hillyard. A pleasure and a massive surprise!
Elisabetta Ghebbioni (harp), Andrea Dainese (flute), Lawrence Jacks (viola) and Anthony Halliday (organ) soloed for various concerti by vivaldi, Telemann and Hadyn at the former Wesleyan Methodist Church in Clunes. The Festival Chamber Orchestra comprised Yvonne Holley, Akeyo Matsumoto, Kate Carman, Wilson Blackman, Millie Koenders and Toni Williams (violins), Ann Smith and Louise Hillyard (violas), Kathryn Saunders (oboe), Miriam Kriss (cello) and Tim Nelson (bass).