Review / CIMF Concert 20, ‘Twilight’

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LIKE the Vivaldi concert from earlier in the day this offering was wide in its musical variety but, befitting the twilight hour, was more gentle and contemplative in its style. Here was what I’ve always imagined an 18th Century drawing room musical evening to be – players of the highest calibre weaving their magic and leading listeners into a peaceful place where sounds just wash over and around causing minds to float off all over the place.

The three brothers who form Forma Antiqva eased us into the early night with three Spanish works.

All are outstandingly good individual players in a trio of instruments not often heard (harpsichord, theorbo and guitar) but collectively they display a musical understanding which could only come about through close family ties. This synergy allowed playing of great precision and delicate balance with the harpsichord work of Aaron Zapico outstanding in its technical excellence.

I’ve now enjoyed listening to the Boccherini Trio three times during this Festival, on each occasion a vastly different style of music. Tonight ‘drifting away’ chamber music so well interpreted and performed, the high standing international reputation of this group is well deserved.

Guitarists Jose Maria Gallardo and Andrey Lebedev have performed individually at the Festival but what a combination when they joined forces!! Six works from Granados, de Falla and Albeniz were played faultlessly and with astounding virtuosity. Little wonder a spontaneous standing ovation erupted.

Continuum Sax had endured a harrowing trip to Canberra after members had performed a matinee show at the Sydney Opera House but not an ounce of travel stress was evident during their five pieces which ranged from Bach and Scarlatti to Gershwin and Cole Porter. The haunting version of the Christina Leonard soprano saxophone led “I’ve got you under my Skin” was quite extraordinary in its simple beauty and unlike any of many, many arrangements I’ve previously heard. It was s’wonderful!

There was nothing to be critical about in this concert. It was simply great musicians displaying their skills and talents in a superb fashion.

[Photo by Peter Hislop]

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