Large smiles make most of orchestral ‘blues’

Pianist Sine Winther… “Performed confidently and fluidly all through effectively supported by a beautiful liquidity to the strings.” Photograph: Andrea Conangla Fernandes

Music / “Electrical Blue”, Canberra Symphony Orchestra. At Llewellyn Corridor, April 26. Reviewed by GRAHAM McDONALD.

THERE was little, if something, to be important about within the finely conceived and exquisitely performed live performance from the Canberra Symphony Orchestra beneath the path of Jessica Cottis.

Two world premieres of recent Australasian works have been balanced in opposition to two late 19th century classics by Russian composers with the pairings working remarkably effectively. The 2 new works have been trendy and really listenable, with out veering into atonality or something too radical.

The live performance had an underlying theme of “Blue”, which was utilized in numerous methods. The primary work on this system, by NZ/Australian composer Miriama Younger, entitled “Sorts of Blue”, was impressed by a number of work by American Mark Rothko and featured shimmering strings punctuated by dense chords from the winds and brass. A most tasty piece of music.

This was adopted by Alexander Scriabin’s “Piano Concerto in F sharp minor, Op.20” written in 1896 and carried out by younger Australian pianist Sine Winther. The piano half appears curiously secondary to the orchestra for a lot of it with a extra dominant function within the second motion whereas the orchestra takes over once more for an enormous ending. Winther performed confidently and fluidly all through effectively supported by a beautiful liquidity to the strings.

The second half of the live performance started with the opposite new work, “Past the ridge, the ranges far” by Harry Sdraulig for orchestra with solo cello performed by the CSO principal cello Patrick Suthers. This work was commissioned by Gisela Pullen and Karl Gordon for the CSO and displays their love of the mountainous terrain of this district.

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The work rises and falls in the best way of of hills and valleys, with quick melodies from the cello that constructed into loud orchestral sections earlier than falling away once more.

Once more, a most satisfying new piece of music and curiously in a lot the identical form of construction to Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” which adopted it.

It is a large orchestral work, the place each part within the orchestra is allowed to shine, however on the similar time with quiet solo sections, corresponding to concertmaster Kirsten Williams’ solo violin sections with Georgia Lowe’s harp to recommend “Scheherazade’s” storytelling.

What was noticeable was how a lot the orchestra was having fun with enjoying this music. At one level the second violins and violas had a piece of pizzicato enjoying and the leaders of every part have been intently watching one another with large smiles to get the 2 sections exactly in sync.

It was this stage of consideration to element, impressed I believe by conductor Cottis, in addition to the plain camaraderie of the musicians that made this such an fulfilling night of music.

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Ian Meikle, editor