Wel­come ad­ven­ture into fresh ter­ri­tory

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RE­VIEW BY GIL­LIAN WILLS

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.

HIGH NOTES: Cel­list Jiri Barta on Cas­tle Hill.

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