ABR Arts Music

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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Que Reste T’il (What Remains?) ★★★★

Tim Byrne
Monday, 13 November 2017

The idea of joining Robyn Archer – arguably the greatest cabaret artist in the country – for a night of French chanson that harks back to her seminal 1991 show Le Chat Noir was inspired. While Archer is most closely associated with German Kabarett of the Weimar, she is no slouch when it comes to interpretations of the Gallic ...

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2017 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues

Des Cowley
Wednesday, 08 November 2017

It was always going to be a risky decision. Earlier this year, the Board of the Wangaratta Festival dispensed with the services of Adrian Jackson, the artistic director who shaped the style and content of the Festival since its inception in 1990. In recent years, a combination of reduced funding and unfortunate weather conditions led to ...

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The tried and proven order of the traditional symphonic concert program dictates a short introductory piece, followed by a well-known concerto featuring a well-known soloist; then, after interval, a symphony to showcase both the orchestra’s and the conductor’s abilities. This palatable menu was, however, presented with a twist at ...

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Some singers – a gifted few – have voices that are so sumptuously individual that even one note instantly identifies them to the listener. In opera, Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti have that status, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in lieder, Elvis Presley and Louis Armstrong in rock and jazz. But none more so than Maria Callas ...

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The jukebox musical is a fairly recent phenomenon on theatre stages, but has proven to be a popular, and lucrative, method of stringing together a group of popular songs loosely held together by a sometimes attenuated narrative. Mamma Mia! – the collection of ABBA hits that has been running in London since 1999 – is one of the most ...

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It seemed apt that Adam Simmons chose to perform his large-scale suite The Usefulness of Art in a space generally devoted to art and theatre, rather than in one of Melbourne’s jazz clubs. Incorporating visual design by Christine Crawshaw and Diokno Pasilan – wooden chairs hung from ...

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Thaïs (MSO) ★★★★

Peter Rose
Monday, 28 August 2017

Equally welcome was the second opportunity to hear Massenet’s opera Thaïs (1894) within a matter of weeks. Once again it was a concert version – a ‘mid-season gala’ from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. ABR Arts wrote about Opera Australia’s recent concerts in the Sydney Town Hall ...

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Since 2011 many senior Australian musicians from international orchestras have gathered each year to form the Australian World Orchestra. This year’s project included a national tour of a chamber ensemble of eight (AWO Chamber 8), with masterclasses and lessons to young ...

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Schubert’s most famous ‘unfinished’ work, the Eighth Symphony, is unconventional in a number of ways, its B minor key and the opening movement’s 3/4 pulse not least of them. Mahler’s grand Lied is a match in strangeness – setting, as it does, a miscellany of ancient ...

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