25 June 2019

Double barrelled

I don't like weapon references, but this is too good to miss. Musica da Camera has just played one of its weekend concert pairs and the country segment was a Gunning. Thus double barrelled. Lenny chose the music, as musical director, and conducted. This was our last concert with Lenny before his further studies overseas. Katia Beaugeais, Selmer artist saxist and Sydney Con composition lecturer, provided our original for the day, first recorded by ACO Collective for ABC, none-the-less. Helena Popovich soloed on our recomposed Seasons. Tim Lamble recorded the Saturday (Cook) concert for ArtSound (expect that sometime in coming months). The music was delightful and varied and modern. First up was Arensky Variations on a theme by Tchaikovsky. Lovely and eminently doable. Variations are an interesting exercise in classical music. Then Katia's Like snowdrops you will shine. This was deceptively challenging with its odd syncopations over changing time signatures (mainly 5/4) and pentatonics with a gull-call finish of harmonic slides. This was quite a challenge on day 1 but reasonably settled on day 2. It's a glorious, soft, heart warming piece dedicated to hospital staff and celebrating their good work. Lovely. Then the long work, Max Richter Four seasons recomposed. This was a hit of the CIMF a few years back: all minimalism and drones with odd, changing times as features and the well-known melodies peeking through. An impressive and convincing and often mesmerising reworking of the standard. Helena did a great job on the most demanding of parts. Again, an artistic and intellectual pleasure to play with Lenny and Helena and the MdC crew, and to feature Katia and such interesting new music.

Musica da Camera performed Arensky, Beaugeais and Richter at Cook and Gunning. Leonard Weiss directed (conductor), Helena Popovic (violin) soloed. Katia Beaugeais (composer) attended both outings. Tim Gamble (recordings) recorded for ArtSound.

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