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Melbourne Recital Centre

Schubert Piano Sonatas 

Melbourne Recital Centre
by
07 February 2024

Given the unalloyed delight of hearing the English pianist Paul Lewis’s magnificent traversal of the late sonatas of Schubert, it is hard to believe that these pieces, now so central to the piano repertoire, were once so peripheral, so neglected, as to be considered at worst non-existent or, at best, gemütlich items of curiosity. The latter view was neatly encapsulated by the great Schubert virtuoso, Alfred Brendel. In the early 1960s, he was on a recital tour of South America when Pope John XXIII died. In Buenos Aires, Brendel was politely asked if he could change his program to rid it of the Schubert Sonata in A. The reason: ‘It could arouse frivolous associations because of Lilac Time.’ Brendel explained that the sonata was ‘a profoundly tragic piece’, and played it as planned.

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Melbourne Jazz Co-Operative 

Melbourne Jazz Co-Operative
by
30 May 2023

It is hard to believe that an organisation founded forty years ago could still be flourishing today under the helm of its original founder. When current creative director Martin Jackson, in 1982, conceived the idea of a co-operative aimed at fostering the development of jazz and improvised music in Melbourne, I doubt he could have foreseen where it might lead. But here we are, four decades on, part of a full house at the Melbourne Recital Centre, here to celebrate the numerous achievements of the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative (MJC).

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Michael Fabiano in Concert 

Opera Australia
by
13 February 2023
The acoustics in the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall at the Melbourne Recital Centre are rightly celebrated. The hall offers shrewd and attentive musicians a rare kind of sonic ambience. We heard two further demonstrations of this last week, when the English pianist Paul Lewis returned to MRC with two more of his Schubert recitals (six sonatas in all) – superlative playing of the greatest finesse. Lewis, who never milks anything – not a phrase nor a post-concert talk – later referred to the Murdoch as one of his favourite concert halls in the world. ... (read more)

Music for the Sistine Chapel 

Melbourne Recital Centre
by
26 October 2022

Two sold-out concerts in the Melbourne Recital Centre by the London-based vocal ensemble The Tallis Scholars will be music to the ears of Australia classical music promoters. Audience numbers may be returning to something close to pre-Covid levels. In this case, however, I suspect the box-office success also reflects the peculiar drawing power of The Tallis Scholars themselves.

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Siegfried 

Melbourne Opera
by
26 September 2022

The past few weeks in Melbourne have seen a series of extraordinary musical events that collectively represent the ultimate triumph of the creative spirit over the forces of pestilence – something that applies equally to audiences as well as performers. There is certainly, hanging in the air, a palpable spirit of communion and fulfilled expectations from our re-emergence from the stygian isolation of Covid lockdown into the iridescent aura that only live performances can achieve. In Wagnerian terms, we are all Brünnhildes, reawakening from lengthy slumber to joyfully hail the sunlight. As it was – in life and in art – at Sunday’s magnificent performance of Siegfried.

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Melburnians haven’t heard Nicole Car since 2014, when she was a luminous Tatiana in Kasper Holten’s production of Eugene Onegin. Much has happened to the Melbourne-born  lyric soprano since then, primarily in Sydney at first with several big Mozart and Verdi roles (Pamina, Fiordiligi, Violetta, Luisa Miller) ...

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Stephen Sondheim's Follies opened on Broadway in 1971, during his most fertile period as a composer and lyricist; it premièred one year after Company and two years before A Little Night Music. It echoed the plotless structure of the former and the ambivalent nostalgia of the latter ...

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