20 January 2018


This was different from the rest so far and a stunner, for me at least and for some I was chatting with. Different? Rachmaninoff Elegie Op.3, Barber Sonata cello & piano Cmin and Shostakovitch Sonata cello & piano Dmin. Yes, different, although they did encore with a more sedate Schubert Serenade. I loved it all. A strong, youthful and loud performance from Luke Severn and mostly from memory and a mature and relatively quiet performance from Elyanne Laussade on Steinway. When is a Steinway quiet? Was it a mark of Luke’s volume? But I was up close, second row. The Barber surprised and pleased me. I only know the common Barber which is attractive, but this one was more daring, more modern and yet hinted at those beautiful melodies (one phrase somewhere was almost identical) and based on a series of odd intervals on 2-3 of the bar if I remember correctly. Interestingly, the Shostakovitch was written just 2 years before, but in different countries. They are different. Shostakovitch was just fabulous, virtuoisic, fast or slow, bombarding or lento. And I felt more modern-comfortable with the harmonic movement in Shostakovitch; Barber seemed a bit less comfy to my ears. Great, challenging modern music (well, 100 years old now) and a change from Bach and Vivaldi (despite their comfy genius) and some players who did it justice. Fabulous and challenging.

Luke Severn (cello) and Elyanne Laussade (piano) performed Rachmaninoff, Barber, Shostakovitch and Schubert at the Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts.

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