ABR Arts Music

‘People who don’t like tunes don’t like Berlioz.’ Thus, the late Colin Davis, famed English conductor and Berlioz exponent, said in 2007 about L’Enfance du Christ. Davis, in his wry, gently combative English way, and with a burnished reputation behind him, didn’t have to care about musical fashion or despised tunes: ...

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This week’s subscription concerts of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra began with the Symphony No.1 in G minor by Russian composer Vasily Sergeyevich Kalinnikov; a decision by no means lacking reason or merit, yet certainly courageous. One could argue that seven decades after its last performance by the SSO in 1946 its time ...

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2018 Melbourne International Jazz Festival

Des Cowley
Thursday, 14 June 2018

One of the key issues addressed by the twenty-first Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) is the role of women in jazz. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, there has been much debate around gender equality in jazz, including inevitable references to jazz as a ‘boys’ club’. While there has never been a shortage ...

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The Calling (fortyfivedownstairs) ★★★★1/2

Des Cowley
Monday, 07 May 2018

The Calling is the fourth in a series of five large-scale concerts, each featuring a different ensemble, being performed at fortyfivedownstairs by multi-instrumentalist and composer Adam Simmons throughout 2017–18. The overarching title of the series, ‘The Usefulness of Art’, is inspired by a quote from sculptor Auguste Rodin ...

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The concept of combining the excellence of Australian musicians working around the globe and getting them together for an annual series of concerts, directed by some of the most renowned conductors, is a brilliant one. Brother and sister team Alexander Briger and Gabrielle Thompson, the ...

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Edward Elgar’s great work of poetic soul-scouring and symphonic grandeur had a mired reception at its première in Birmingham in 1900, years before Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring sparked its famous riot in Paris in 1913. Both composers had stretched the tolerance of their audiences, requiring open minds and an ear for new tonalities ...

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Jordi Savall’s reputation preceded him and the Perth Concert Hall was bursting at the seams for the first night of his national tour. The Spanish musician and his band Hespererion XXI are renowned for their interpretations of early music ...

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The Sydney Symphony Orchestra opened its 2018 season with three interconnected programs, presenting a cross-section of the mature orchestral compositions of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s last seven years. All three programs followed the same structure, albeit with different works on each night. Piano concertos received ...

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Travelling Tales (fortyfivedownstairs) ★★★★

Des Cowley
Monday, 11 December 2017

Travelling Tales is the third instalment in a series of five concerts, entitled ‘The Usefulness of Art’, by multi-instrumentalist Adam Simmons, all taking place at fortyfivedownstairs. The first, Concerto for Piano and Toy Band, was performed in March this year, and the second, The Usefulness of Art, in August. The final ...

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The year of J.S. Bach’s death, 1750, is usually considered to mark the end of the Baroque era in music. It only makes sense that the Classical period should start directly thereafter. But is that really so? Art and its history does not necessarily follow clear borderlines, and compositions written around the middle of the eighteenth ...

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