31 January 2018
Friday morning is time for an interlude and light music. This was in Ballarat, at St Paul’s Anglican Church, with Douglas Mews and for one tune, Andrea Dainese. Andrea (flute) was filling in for his offsider, Giancarlo (viola), who couldn’t attend at late notice. The organ was J Walker of London, 1864, nice sounding and full in this space, but with mechanical action replaced by a detached electrified console sometime over the last century. So the Lemare and several Ketelbeys were to relax and enjoy. Ketelbey’s foreign adventure were slim so his Japanese Carnivals and Chinese temples were none too authentic. Douglas played two NZ numbers, from Kaihau and Sondederhof. The Sonderhof was more Viennese waltz than Maori Bible. But, again so be it. Douglas introduced the Grieg and Elgar as real music and they were satisfying. The prayer and Temple dance from Olav Trygvason had we wanting to join the pagans. And Sospiri from Elgar was too sentimental, especially for a busy Friday morning; perhaps the Chanson de Matin was better. But I jest. This was meant to be light and it was. I enjoyed the organ tones and Daouglas’ and Andrea’s playing. A pleasant interlude.
Douglas Mews (organ) perforrmed at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Ballarat. Andrea Dainese (flute) joined in for Elgar.
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30 January 2018
HM or HRH?
I learnt this today: you address the Queen as Her Majesty, not as Her Royal Highness. Well, I’ll be. It was an interlude of mirth and jocularity and a little vocals when HM Queen Victoria appeared to her subjects at the Clunes Town Hall. The hall is itself an object of considerable interest, attractive despite considerable cracks. The Queen appeared to lead us in a hymn written for a possible new nation of Victoria in 1860. “To the people of Victoria / This attempt at a National Hymn for our Common Country / Sung at the Theatre Royal Melbourne 1860 / Words by WW Wendell, Music by S Nelson”. We had the words and attempted the melody, but it was not known and still tricky after three verses. The words work with Advance Australia Fair but that’s not the melody. Thanks Rachel. An amusing outing with a tricky melody.
Rachel Buckley appeared as Queen Victoria at the Clunes Town Hall.
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29 January 2018
The heat wave continued for the afternoon but it was obvious here at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Clunes. It was hot here, but the concert went on. Douglas Mews returned on organ with Andrea Dainese on flute for one sonata. The music was all Handel. The organ was due for upcoming restoration, lacking in some stops and long pipes and short on pedals, a front of false pipes removed to reveal the square wooden pipes below, but it filled the space and was responsive and crisp to my ears. This instrument is a mechanical action built by Hamlin & Sons in London ~1860. Only one other organ is known by this manufacturer and it’s in the UK. The music was Handel Excerpts from Rinaldo HWV7; Sonata Emin; Suite Dmin HWV428. The middle piece featured flute. Lots of short movements over three pieces. Stately and intriguing, but located in a hot room with audience flagging. Good on the performers to survive. Intriguingly, next door is the original church, a US-built prefab of style you see in films; common enough in the US but rare in Australia. This town is small but increasingly interesting.
Douglas Mews (organ) played Handel airs and dances at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Clunes. Andrea Dainese (flute) accompanied on one.
This is CJBlog post no. 1900
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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).
27 January 2018
Advent is that annual time of anticipation for Christmas. It means little now for most people, except maybe for the calendars, but it has a history. This concert was a recreation of an Advent cantata concert (Eine Abendmusik) as it may have been heard in C18th Germany. Appropriately, it was held on the altar in the impressive St Patrick’s cathedral. The performers were friends of director and bass vocalist, John Weretka. And perhaps to note, the concert was perhaps the longest I’ve attended here, although still only 90 mins (the concerts are nicely timed at 60 mins). Music was from JC Bach, Pachelbel, Buxtehude, but also a string of lesser known names, Capricornus, Froberger , Schleinm Muller, Bertali, Schmeltzter. The instruments were period, so theorbo and a family of viols, chamber organ and harpsichord, and baroque violin and bassoon. There were five singers, SSATB interestingly with a male alto. There were some faces I recognised, mostly from previous concerts at this festival, but also Rachel Walker from Canberra and Simon Rickards from AHE. This was a gentle concert, not loud in this immense space and sometimes overwhelmed by passing Harleys on the main road outside (especially the solo harpsichord). Vocal numbers were interspersed with instrumentals – sonatas and chaconnes and suites. I particularly enjoyed the vocals. There were some fascinating pairings of alto/tenor, soprano/soprano, soprano/bass in some tunes and I loved the crystalline first soprano (Helen Thompson?). A calm and beautiful set of period musics.
Eine Abendmusik was held at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Singers were John Meretka (bass, director), Helen Thompson and Amelia Jones (sopranos), Hamish Gould (alto) were Christopher Roche (tenor). Instrumentalists were the Consort Eclectus comprising Lizzy Walsh (violin), Miriam Morris, Laura Moore, Reidun Turner, Victoria Watts, Ruth Wilkinson and Rachel Walker (viola da Gamba) with Kristen Barry (oboe), Rosemary Hodgson (theorbo), Simon Rickards (bassoon) and Elizabeth Welsh (viol, viola) and Ann ? (harpsichord, organ).
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26 January 2018
This festival is diverging and that’s good. A festival is a place of concentration, of musicians, of instruments, perhaps of styles, and it’s this that’s interesting me. Also, it’s intense – in the case of festivals like this, two or three concerts a day. It’s musically tiring and here it has me becomign aware of the things I really respond to. To some degree, it also means tuning out from things I normally love and admire, but just doesn’t excite me quite like normal amongst the abundance. Arcadia Winds was a group that tuned me in. Five young players, lighthearted chatter, very informative introductions (like identifying the key features to listen to in each of Ligeti’s six bagatelles), an uncommon format (wind quintet) and some excellent playing. Arcadia Winds were Musica Viva’s inaugural FutureMakers ensemble which gave them recordings and tours and time. They are friends who date back before ANAM, but they formed there. This time, their flute was a sit-in flautist from ANAM, Eliza Shephard. You would hardly have known she was sitting in – great job done there. And being young, they read their new music (a century old now but not baroque/classical) from tablets with bluetooth page turners. So everything was new. It’s not a new audience, but they were feted by plenty of admirers. I was one. They played Ligetti, Bartok, Szervansky wind quintets which I suppose are common enough in this format but fascinating and harmonically and aurally challenging despite Euro-folk roots. And a new Australian work but Lachlan Skipworth, which appears to have been written with them in mind. Whatever, this was a harmonically and tonally fascinating outing with an energetic group on the way up. Excellent stuff.
Arcadia Winds performed Ligetti, Bartok, Szervansky and Skipworth at Neil St Uniting Church. Regular members David Reichelt (oboe), Lloyd van Hoff (clarinet), Rachel Shaw (horn) and Matthew Kneale (bassoon) were joined by replacement Eliza Shephard (flute) for the day.
25 January 2018
An uncommon pairing
Well, a concert of harp and pipe organ is a concert of relatively obscure and uncommon instruments. As proof, I discovered a list of 44 pipe organs in Canberra and there wouldn’t be too many harps, although we do have an aggregation, mostly around Alice Giles. But they didn’t play together, just a segment each. Martin Setchell presented two small sets of English Edwardiana d Victorian music for organ, with names including Lemare, German, Clark, Bache Bridge and Hollins. Not a well known repertoire although the Lemare piece, Andantino in Db, had been ripped off for Moonlight and roses, so the melody was known for that and Lemare made considerable monies from the copyright case. The Scotson Clark Vienna March sounded all the world like a barrel organ – a very complex and expensive one in this case. The organ had problems with some stops so the second set was delayed, but this festival has an organ tuner on call to make repairs – the second one I’ve seen on the fly in few days. Visiting Venetian harpist Elisabetta Ghebbioni performed a spectacularly mixed set: from Phillip Glass Metamorphosis Two, through Albeniz to Handle Chaconne in Gmaj, which is a set of variations. I enjoyed this set, if more for the two ends, the Glass and Handel, but I felt the harp was lost in this space. Elisabetta has a great CV but she’s playing on a borrowed instrument. Well, as is Martin, but I felt this instrument really felt and sounded good here. Perhaps it’s the space or perhaps the organ’s relative youth or maybe its maintenance (if it’s maintained anything like the perfect gardens around the chapel). It’a Fincham & Sons of 1903, and apart from the breakdown, the sound was lively and fresh and big. The arched ceiling and surfaces may have helped acoustics. Again, I measured the organ slightly sharp, ~A=444, like the other organs other than St Pat’s which was similarly flat. Interesting.
Martin Setchell (organ) and Elisabetta Ghebbioni (harp) performed sets at Loreto College Chapel.
24 January 2018
Concert 2 in Castlemaine was a stunner of modern music with loads of international connections in an old-styled town hall, all rows of seats and high stage and musical distance. Nonetheless, it was another stunner. We’d heard Anthony Halliday and Tomomi Kondo Brennan playing duo with AH on organ a Snake Gully. This was a trio event, with Tomomi’s husband, trumpeter Joel Brennan, extensive travel, musical doctorate from Yale and now Senior lecturer in Brass at Melbourne Con. With this trio we could expect fireworks. We got them. A duo (tpt, pno) from Joseph Turin who wrote the music for Nightmare on Elm St and has been commissioned by the NY Phil: Two portraits for flugelhorn and piano (utilising both flugel and trumpet). Then AH playing Beethoven Andante favore with plenty of rubato and flexibility of tempo. AH amazes me with his playing from memory: he played from memory the other day and apparently has performed Well tempered clavier from memory. He obviously read for the more obscure pieces. The final work was a pairing of two contemporary numbers: Julliard lecturer Eric Ewazen’s Trio for trumpet, violin and piano (apparently he writes for unusual combinations) with a response called Summer breeze from Harry Sdraulig, a recent student at Melbourne Con who was in the audience. HS’s was shorter and more attractively melodic. EE’s was more complex in harmony, interplay, structure and the rest, but this was a much larger work in several movements. So, this was a return to the modern and particularly to contemporary US, with that Australian response and a blast from a storied past. A stunning concert with some fabulously inventive compositions and excellent performances. Loved this one!
Anthony Halliday (piano) Tomomi Kondo Brennan (violin) and Joel Brennan (trumpet, flugelhorn) performed contemporary music and Beethoven at the Town Hall in Castlemaine. Harry Sdraulig (composer) was present for the premiere of one of his works.
23 January 2018
Off to Castlemaine for two concerts. The first was a lovely concert of Mozartiana on a very different style of organ. It was originally a Fincham organ of 1888, but updated with electro-pneumatic action by still extant Geroge Fincham & Sons in 1953. Thus the organist and manuals were on one side of the altar and the organ in a niche on the other side. Presumably impossible with a mechanical organ. But it was a big sound, able to fill a large and dark space. All Mozart. Not least his variations on Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman, or as we know it, Twinkle twinkle little star. And the well known Ronda alla Turka with its references to the music of the Turkish Janisseries. And his Leipzig (Eine keine) gigue which was apparently written in a visitors’ book by a young Mozart in appreciation of the chance to spend time on an organ. Or his Andante K.616 which originally accompanied automatons or waxwortks displays in the court he was working at. All fascinating snippets of Mozart’s spirited genius and all well played by visiting New Zealander Douglas Mews in a very dark and foreboding early gold-era church.
Douglas Mews (organ) performed Mozart at Christ Church Anglican Church on Agitation Hill in Castlermaine.
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22 January 2018
Something else entirely
One can’t live by music alone, but this is just another arty thing. We went off to the Bendigo Art Gallery to catch a visiting exhibit on costume designer Edith head. I’d never heard of her before, but she’s considered the most significant costume designer in film history (with 8 Academy Awards to her name). The display was more than 70 suits and day dresses and gowns and the rest, mostly form women but just a few jackets for men, along with a few film clips of the costumes in film (amusing) and films and sketches. It was no surprise that the attendees were 95% women, but I enjoyed it immensely, not least thinking of a tailoring-lineage. First up was a beautiful white suit worn and well known by Audrey Hepburn. Then costumes for Gloria Swanston, Olivia de Havilland, Helen Lamour, Jane Russell, Hedy Lamarr, Shirley Temple, Natalie Wood (many others) and a few special performance outfits for Fred Astaire, Bob Hope and Yul Brynner. One interesting factoid was that women were outfitted but men were usually expected to provide their wardrobes. Watching a few accompanying clips had me thinking it’s such a plaything, but the costumery was intriguing, subtly creative and, from Edith’s own words in one interview, corrective. One other thing: there were some seriously narrow waists amongst the actresses! Unexpectedly beguiling. Otherwise the Gallery was a great little pleasure. And we even found some jazz-age art on the way to Bendigo, at the Overwrought metalwork and garden art gallery in the little town of Blampied.
The Costume Designer: Edith Head and Hollywood was a temporary exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery.
The Costume Designer: Edith Head and Hollywood was a temporary exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery.
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Labels: Bendigo Art Gallery, Blampied, Edith Head, Hollywood
21 January 2018
This one was a gentle return to the earlier, more sedate, dignified music of Mozart and Bach, except, due to sickness, a group version of the Goldberg Variation selections was replaced by a new viola player and several pleasant but relatively light quartets by Cimarosa. The other work was Mozart Quintet for Flute, harp and string trio KV299. I followed the second movement well enough (I’d played it with NCO). The other movements were less known but identifiable, but then all Mozart seems like that. His melodies just fall off the pen with immense inevitability. How could they be otherwise? The Cimarosi were played by a quartet of flute, violin, viola and cello. I wondered if the flute part is switched from or easily transposable to another violin. The Mozart added a harp and I wondered similarly about its role relative to piano, but the chords and accompaniment were sparser and the melodies less accompanied by another hand. Probably fairly different, although I remember NCO harpist Elizabeth once playing the harp part on piano in rehearsal. Interesting. Some nice playing, too. I particularly enjoyed the sit-in Helen Ireland and violin Natasha Conrau. Also flautist Andrea Dainese, although wind is an unknown quantity to me. Lovely
The Trio Leonardo performed Mozart and Cimarosa with visitors. Trio Leonardo are Andrea Dainese (flute), Elisabetta Ghebbioni (harp) and Giancarlo Di Vacri (viola). This night Helen Ireland (viola) replaced GdV. Guests were Natasha Conrau (violin) and Miriam Kriss (cello).
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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19 January 2018
I’m learning about pipe organs. For instance, there are 44 in Canberra (!), mostly in churches, but also in 3 private residences. Also, that there are homeless organs and they get moved. It’s obvious, really, that these loved, artisan instruments are valued by their (mostly) congregations. This concert was in a local town, Creswick, at St John’s Anglican Church, a lovely old bluestone construction from the time of the gold rushes. The organ was another Fincham & Hodbay (1989) which had been gifted by the Barkly Street Uniting Church when they sold the premises. The move was in 2015 so the setup is recent. It's fully mechanical and unusually the mechanism is visible from the organ loft. Unlike St Pat’s low tuning (well below A=440), this organ is slightly sharp (~A=444). It seems that all mechanical organs are somewhat varied in pitch. Understandable, as they are clearly a mammoth job to tune. Christopher Trikilis is a Melbourne-based organist. He performed a lovely set by Vivaldi arr. Bach, Lemmens, Bach, Zipoli, Mendelsshohn, Bajamonti, Wesley and Dubois. I expect the organ has its own collection of composers. He played wonderfully, with clear enunciation and steady timing and informative chatter. There was some inevitably noisy footwork but this organ is fully mechanical and we were sitting right under the pedals. We learnt of Italian organs having no pedals, thus the Alberti bass: an arpeggiated obbligato pattern moving through chords and inversions (1-3-5-3, etc). And CT was playing with a camera that projected on a screen up front, so we watched his hands and he’d nod to applause. Fun. A lovely concert with great organ and touching venue.
Christopher Trikilis (organ) played at St John’s Anglican Church, Creswick. And to learn more of pipe organs in Australia, visit Organ Historical Trust of Australia.
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18 January 2018
Keeping the record
Just a quick mention of Kym Wilson. Kym is over from Adelaide to record the full Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields festival. He’s originally from Canberra and started recording under Annabel Wheeler at ArtSound. I’ve run into him previously here and also in Adelaide at a concert. Nice to see his approach, using a few different Rode and AKG layouts. Enough of that: chatter of mics are just recorders’ porn. Cheers to Kym.
Kym Wilson (audio) recorded the Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields Festival.
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17 January 2018
Are all operas romantic comedies? Maybe it’s the Italian blood in them, for most of the arias in this concert were by Rossini or Verdi or Puccini. Just a few from Bizet and Mozart, but they were pretty much in the mould. Why not? Romantic comedies are popular and opera was a popular form in its time. Before TV and movies. The singing was good and there was that stylised acting and we were mostly told of the background so we could appreciate the heroine’s dilemma or the cad’s cad-ness, but I still couldn’t catch much of the language. Such is this singing. I went out singing the final pop-aria to myself and it is seriously catchy (Libiamo ne' lieti calici [La Traviata] / Verdi). Operas aren’t my thing, and more so those collections of best-of arias so I’ll leave it at that. For those who obviously enjoy it, I’m sure the quality was there and the pleasure too.
Olivia Cranwell (soprano), Carlos E Barcenas (tenor), Stephen Marsh (baritone) and Phoebe Briggs (piano) from Victorian Opera performed arias.
16 January 2018
So it is when you attend an organ concert in a church. In concert halls they are up the front, but in churches, the organs are usually up the back, over the entrance, and the pews face forward. It’s a good opportunity to listen, and I saw some closed eyes for this concert, but also perchance to dream. This was New Zealander Martin Setchell playing the George Fincham & Sons, built 1930 with tubular, pneumatic action. It’s highly regarded. MS introduced his works, a Bach prelude, an air and gavotte by Samuel Wesley, Elgar Pomp & Circumstance no.4, a fountain reverie and four more works in the form of a symphony, but by four composers. An interesting caprice. This was a large organ, ably filling this huge space, varying though all manner of gentle tones through to the grand, deep pitches. I tested with some apps. The low notes seemed to be ~50Hz and the pitch was well below A=440. But that’s just tech. I feel there’s an artefact in organs with slow formation, especially of low notes. I guess it’s the nature of moving that air. But how satisfying is a big tone, the deep notes and the high floating tones ad what’s this festival without it.
Martin Setchell (organ) performed in St Patrick’s.
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15 January 2018
Well, it’s only really a century or so before the classics but it felt like forever. The program was called Echoes of the Celts and the band was La Compania. They are a Melbourne-based group playing early (pronounced er-lie?) music with sackbuts and viole da gamba and cornetti and the like and with a singer who was at home with gaelic. To my ears, this was music to drink by. I could only think of such a band in a field or a tavern with ales and meads and dancing women lifting heavy skirts. And another thought: love songs are forever, not surprisingly going with those dances in taverns. Just about every song was a love song, and mostly by women A later one was a tender song from a grandmother to her long-time spouse and otherwise they were of young love lost or sought. Just one was a political song opposing the Brits and there were a few instrumentals. I enjoyed the sackbut, the early trombone that played the bass line, and the pairing of the violin and cornetto, in unison or swapping lines. And the thuds of percussion and the accompaniment from early guitars or harp or lute and viola da gamba. And singer Lotte Betts-Dean was a standout. I guess she was soprano (ah, the program says mezzo) but I didn’t take much notice of that. This singing was different. Fast as, so even when I could read the lyrics they were tough to hear, but then there was the gaelic and its odd sounds that I could seldom read against the text. They were a bit dour, for the style, but the location was hardly a pub so to some degree that’s expected. But this was a revelation and an unexpected pleasure.
La Compania are Lotte Betts-Dean (mezzo-sprano), Danny Lucin (cornetto, director), Lizzy Walsh (baroque fiddle), Glenn Bardwell (sackbut), Victoria Watts (viola da gamba), Rosemary Hodgson (baroque guitar, lute, harp), Denis Close (guitarino, bodhran, frame drums), Christine Baker (bodhran, bones, frame drums).
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Labels: Christine Baker, Danny Lucin, Denis Close, Glenn Bardwell, La Compania, Lizzy Walsh, Lotte Betts-Dean, Organs of Ballarat Goldfields fest 2018, Rosemary Hodgson, Victoria Watts
14 January 2018
This was a mid afternoon concert at Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts. A generous and impressive place for a school hall, but this apparently belongs to the Ballarat Grammar (the headmaster was thanked for providing it). This was the core of the classical repertoire: three sonatas, two by Beethoven (no.5 Fmaj “Spring” and no.1 Dmaj), one by Brahms (no.2 Amaj). And the players were superb. Monica Curro, an assistant principal at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Stefan Cassomenos. SC had played the previous night for the opening concert. Here the piano was a generous Steinway and we were close up. I fell in love with the close spelling of the tune the shared sense of dynamics and phrasing, the frequent delicacy of the violin and the strength and forcefulness of the piano. Just superb renditions, informed and reasoned and most importantly shared. These two play together in a modern group, Plexus, and this was not that, but their mutual understanding showed. SC would often look up to MC awaiting a lead; MC was oddly positioned to not easily look to SC, but it all worked. Truly, a great treat! How the classics should be played.
Monica Curro (violin) and Stefan Cassomenos (piano) played Beethoven and Brahms sonatas.
13 January 2018
This place was called Snake Valley and the concert was in a lovely old Uniting Church (built Presbyterian, 1861) in a field behind trees on the country road. The feature was a Fincham and Hobday organ. You get to know these names at this event. They were makers in Melbourne and this one dates from 1894. Some problems that appeared during the first up Bach were presumably remedied for the rest of the concert, but this is the nature of such a beast. I expect funds are tight for maintenance. The players were Anthony Halliday and Tomomi Kondo Brennan. AH plays organs around the world, not least in London and Leipzig, and has appeared here before. TKM has a history on violin from Japan through Canada and is now an associate principal with Orchestra Victoria. OV is the Melbourne-based orchestra supporting the Australian Ballet and Opera. So no slouches. The music was a mix of solo organ and duets from Bach, Handel, Beethoven, Haydn, Elgar, Mozart and Widor and Vitali. There were some tech hitches with the Bach but we could still enjoy the variations in tone and power that pipe organ can display, and some very capable playing of multiple parts. The duets featured the violin, with the organ surprisingly reticent when accompanying but also when taking a phrase. Perhaps the tech issue or perhaps AH’s artistic judgement. I much enjoyed TKM’s bowing as a class in itself, being close up, especially some very effective and even slurs and bouncing passages. Lovely ll round.
Anthony Halliday (organ) and Tomomi Kondo Brennan (violin) performed at the Uniting Church Snake Valley for the Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields Festival.
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