Australian String Quartet
Saturday 7th November 2015
Last night for their last concert in Brisbane for the year we hada great collection of works both old nad new. The evening began well when the lovely woman at the box office said I was a Symphony in Green (sort of matching clothes) and then my glass of house red was delicious. I make no pretence of knowing one red from another.
The first gorgeous piece was by the 16 year old Juan Crisóstomo Jacobo Antonio de Arriaga y Balzola who was a Spanish Basque composer. He was nicknamed "the Spanish Mozart" because he was also a child prodigy and shared the same birthday (50 years apart) and was an accomplished composer who died young at age 20 possibly from TB. Such talent and such beautiful music. I just thought of all those kids sitting on the street and what could be.
Next was the premier of a new piece by Brisbane born and international conductor, violinist and composer Brett Dean for strings and soprano. ' And once I played Ophelia'.
Guest singer Allison Bell has a laser focused high and powerful voice. There were echoes, outbursts and soaring vocal gymnastics while the stringplayers at one stage had to bow with such lightning speed I worried for their wrists and then folowed by another section that vibrated at almost subliminal quietness. It was a showpiece, but I personally felt the need to an apparent resolution.
The evening finished with the grand Schubert 'Death and the Maiden' with its gut wrenching depth and agitation. Franz Schubert also died tragically young at 31 from Syphilis. that is a very young drawing of Schubert above. Great concert and already booked for next year. I did have the lovely opportunity for a very brief chat with the beautiful Stephen King the Viola player whom I have met on a few occasions. (cover above) It was good to welcome the new violinist Francesca Hiew from Brisbane who will be part of the new permanent lineup next year.