Theatre / “Australia Day”, Canberra Repertory, until 2 December. Reviewed by JOHN LOMBARD.
IN National Capital Orchestra’s (NCO) first concert for 2017, the orchestra performed three very different works – “The Wood Nymph” by Jean Sibelius, the “Horn Concerto” by Reinhold Glière and Antonín Dvořák’s “Symphony No. 5”.
The tone poem, “The Wood Nymph” by Sibelius, was first performed in 1895 but, after disappearing for many years, it was finally published in 2006. The NCO performance of this work was an Australian premiere. It was good to have the opportunity to hear this unfamiliar work. The classic and appealing music of Sibelius was powerfully performed by the orchestra with clarity and charm.
Rob Gladstones joined the orchestra as horn soloist for the second work, Glière’s Horn Concerto in B flat major, Op. 91. Gladstones studied horn at the Canberra School of Music and now holds the position of Principal Third Horn with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. Glière’s Horn Concerto premiered in 1951 and has become one of the most popular in the horn repertoire. Gladstones gave a strong solo performance and the orchestra accompanied him with very fine playing throughout.
The final work, the Symphony No. 5 in F major, Op. 76 by Dvořák was composed in 1875. It’s a melodic work with great appeal and the orchestra performed it very well, especially the quieter passages of the second movement and the lively, dramatic finale.
Queanbeyan’s Q Theatre works very well as a concert venue. Audience members are close enough to the orchestra to hear the music crisp and clear.
The orchestra impressed with the quality of their playing and their confidence. Conductor, Leonard Weiss, has done excellent work with this very enjoyable concert.