Welcome adventure into fresh territory
CHAMBER music giants Haydn, Schubert and Brahms were given the afternoon off in Phoenix Rising with its refreshing program of recent works and a neglected gem.
Anna’s Song, from Hans Krasa’s score for the play Youth In The Game written in 1935, was popular in its day. The tune became the inspiration for Krasa’s Theme and Variations.
Goldner Quartet propelled a stylish, swish performance lovingly spaced with languid moments of repose.
Sacred Heart Cathedral’s generous resonance is musician friendly. It gave a helping hand to Iain Grandage’s terrific Black Dogs: for guitar and string quartet, a piercing study of depression.
The instrumental combination presents a rich source of tonal contrasts. The guitar’s pointy rhythms and tune shards represent the human mind. The escalation into fevered anxiety was authentic. Orava Quartet bounded along with an evocatively tormented, fattoned sound.
There’s more to reap in the interludes of whispered despair. Guitarist Craig Ogden’s assured execution of splintered tunes and jagged rhythm convinced but at times required more space to shine.
In this enjoyable concert of three memorable performances, Jack Heggie’s powerful Pieces of 9/ 11 had the edge.
Skilfully directed by Julian Smiles, sopranos Natalie Peluso and Sophie Ricca and baritone Henk Neven’s brilliant, heartmelting singing with strong instrumental support won a deserved standing ovation.