ABR Arts Music

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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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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