Melbourne Symphony Orchestra: Track and Dance


Past Melbourne’s CBD, Robert Blackwood Corridor at Monash College has been a favorite second dwelling for our Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. An ideal venue for faculty commencement ceremonies, its giant auditorium has a broad stage appropriate for the most important of orchestral settings, and a pristine acoustic that’s extremely favoured by the MSO and ABC for internet hosting business recordings. This MSO program had been carried out on the earlier night time within the Melbourne City Corridor, the place an added bonus to this system was a pre-concert efficiency by organist Calvin Bowman. As I appeared on the resplendent Sir Louis Matheson pipe organ in Blackwood Corridor, I felt somewhat unhappy that Bowman’s organ taking part in didn’t come to Monash. As this MSO program was curated that includes ladies in music in recognition of Worldwide Girls’s Day, I questioned about our Australian feminine organists and this missed alternative.

As audiences are nonetheless fastidiously returning to reside performances, a modest variety of common subscribers attended, however all enthusiastically appreciated this primary night time again to Blackwood Corridor. The event started with a spoken acknowledgement of Nation, then Lengthy Time Dwelling, Deborah Cheetham’s association of phrases with string accompaniment.

Femmes de legende (Girls of Legend) was a superb opening selection. Prolific French composer Melanie Bonis composed over 300 works, studied with Cesar Franck, and was extremely revered by her colleagues Debussy and Saint-Saens. From her preliminary assortment of seven piano items, all private portrayals of feminine figures drawn from mythology or dramatic works, Bonis orchestrated three evocative, impressionistic items, most sensitively carried out. Two golden harps, a sensual French horn and strings opened Ophélie, establishing the ambiance of gracefulness, delicacy and fragility of this most-often painted mystical magnificence. Very French in orchestration and color, with tempered crescendos, Ophélie appeared to drift on rippling waters of strings and percussion, with oboe and woodwind devices talking of melancholy and delicate tragedy. Salome danced for the Kings in her extra dramatic portrait, the place further percussion, winding and round woodwind phrases evoked her sensual, impulsive dance. From the timpani and double bass crew got here a repeated sluggish five-beat ostinato sample, and we felt the colors and sound of the desert caravan. Salome’s darker facet and shifting moods have been felt as tempos surged and raunchy brass triumphed. Excessive, sustained strings and plucked harp tones launched unique Center Japanese harmonies in Le Songe de Cléopâtre (Cleopatra’s Dream)with percussion glowing and shimmering in a descriptive, nearly theatrical piece. Strings gave us a broad visible panorama, orchestral textures broadened, and this Cleopatra walked tall and graciously as brief musical themes mirrored her youthfulness satisfaction and grandeur.

Mel Bonis herself is now really turning into a Legendary Lady in music historical past.

Conductor Peter Luff gave a heat and pleasant welcome to the viewers, participating us together with his openness and good spirits. As program notes have been solely to be discovered by prior analysis on the MSO web site, some attendees have been caught empty handed, so Luff’s discuss in regards to the ladies featured on this program and his info on Kodaly’s Dances Of Galanta was a welcome gesture. He spoke of how tonight’s orchestral program gave gamers many solos showcasing the timbre and scope of particular person devices. Kodaly expanded the character of the Bohemian folks melodies performed by gypsy bands across the Hungarian city of Galanta, taking them into the 20th Century, with zappy orchestration and rhythmic variation. Solo cello opened the primary dance, emphatically however slowly, with a free tempo and far rubato, making ready us for alternating very sluggish – very quick sections of Andante Maestoso or Allegro. Dance No 2 notably demonstrated the clarinet’s virtuosity, vary and dynamic contrasts, with diversified articulations and types of accents demanded in its featured appearances. Solo flute, answered by piccolo launched new colors for Dances 3 and 4, and because the vitality elevated, No 5 gave us upbeat strings and assertive brass and percussion bulletins. Repeatedly flowing, the dance set elevated its tempo with gradual steps, the final Dance No 7 closing with an thrilling Allegro Molto Vivace to a lot applause.

Sadly, the unique proposal of Anna Clyne’s spectacular five-movement composition, Dance for Cello and Orchestra, was changed by Haydn’s Cello Concerto No 1 in C. We moved to a really totally different time and stage setting with a smaller MSO classical orchestra and a splendidly worldwide skilled and extremely awarded MSO soloist, Affiliate Principal Cellist Rachael Tobin. We took a relaxation from the dance ground and appreciated this delicate and technically achieved artist in a refined, elegant and stylistic efficiency. Whereas this auditorium is probably not the most effective venue for raise and carry of the cello’s softer low notes, live performance grasp Dale Bartrop demonstrated wonderful management in inspiring exceptional pianissimo softness, mix and stability from the string sections, sustaining cautious stability and assist. Peter Luff led the MSO on this accompanying position with wonderful care, precision and sympathy. Most attention-grabbing too was the inclusion of some fairly unique and modern cello cadenzas, including a private contact to the efficiency.

With a full orchestra and 6 percussionists returning to the stage, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Cappriccio Espagnol impressed us with the really thrilling and vibrant world of sensible music impressed by Spanish dance. The MSO was merely terrific, with fluid and rousing crescendos, balanced and united ensemble work, with a lot particular person solo work displaying the world class abilities of our part leaders. Complementing the principle dance program, was a properly chosen encore piece, Dvorak’s widespread Slavonic Dance in G minor, Op 46 No 8 – Furiant, which continued to boost our spirits with its strong accents and rousing rhythms of Japanese European folks music.

Picture courtesy MSO

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Julie McErlain reviewed “Track and Dance”, carried out by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at Robert Blackwood Corridor on March 18, 2022.



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