14 August 2022

Another next-gen

There seems to be an efflorescence of ensembles recently.  Maybe it's a post-Covid thing.  Not that we are fully post-Covid given that this group's first date was postponed and another was due as I write this, but cancelled for sickness.  This was a different one being very much of a new generation, although the faces are familiar enough, from CYO and community orchestras and ensembles and bands and folk outings and theatre pits and even CSO.  Canberra Chamber Collective also has a neat name with the collectivity inviting a range of styles and groupings.  We heard it last night when their premiere concert arrived after its delay.  They played a range of musics, Mozart and Poulenc and Haydn but also Farkas and Bohme and Lyadov.  A very interesting collection to display various combinations.  In all, they were a sextet of flute, violin, bass, trombone, horn and trumpet.  Perhaps an odd combination and possibly a bit hard to balance with that loud brass.  In fact, Ragnel, on violin, used a pickup and small amplifier for some pieces.  The Mozart and Lyadov had all playing, but there were spots for just the women (flute, violin, bass) and others for just the blokes (trom, horn, tpt) and interestingly, violin taking an oboe line for another piece.   It can be difficult to match instrumentation with arrangements, but a collective can be flexible.  It sounded great in the reverb-washy space of the Drill Hall.  I'd expected it to be too soft, but no, it worked a treat.  There was some capable playing all round.  I especially watched Hayley, having played in a section with her, but otherwise enjoyed all.  I felt there was some slightly nervy reading, but this is new and I enjoyed it immensely and they obviously did too, and knowing how to cover is an essential art anyway.  And the encore of a tarantella says it all.  Deadly serious but fun.  Looking forward to more from CCC.

From left stage to right, Canberra Chamber Collective comprised Serena Ford (flute), Ragnel Jansdotter (violin), Hayley Manning (bass), Dominic Harvey-Taylor (trombone), Liam Brewin Higgins (horn) and Sam Hutchinson (trumpet).

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