10 December 2018
The concert was labelled a double treat given the two features: a pair of double concerti. First up Vivaldi for two cellos; second up Bach for two violins. I like Vivaldi but the Bach was a winner and so well known. Vivaldi was Gminor; the Bach was Dminor. Whichever was the winner in the popularity stakes, these are impressive and attractive works, both of them. The Vivaldi was maybe more predictable, repetitive, less adventurous than the Bach but they were both great. The performers were the Forrest National Chamber Orchestra playing in the chapel at Grammar Girls School. The conductor was Gillian with Shilong helping out on some numbers. The soloists were all regular FNCO members, cellists Frances Stevens and Duncan McIntyre; violinists Rebecca Lovett and Shilong Ye. The supporting program was deeply interesting , too. Bartok Rumanian folk dances; Borodin Nocture from String quartet no.2 (very recognisable); Ravel Bolero (very very recognisable ... and done here nicely and in a mercifully shorter arrangement for string orchestra - just 5 runs through instead of, what? 17 or so?); and the most immediately attractive of all, Plink, plank, plunk! (1951) by Leroy Anderson, played totally in pizz, all cheerful and bouncy like a Disney theme. This was nice playing by a group that spans teachers and students and ages. Lovely to hear and some wonderful programs. Always a pleasure.
Forrest National Chamber Orchestra performed Bach and Vivaldi double concerti as well as Bartok, Borodin, Anderson and Ravel in the chapel at Grammar Girls School. Gillian Bailey-Graham and Shilong Ye (conductors) directed soloists Frances Stevens and Duncan McIntyre (cellos) and Rebecca Lovett and Shilong Ye (violins).