Music / “Reimaginings”, Musica Da Camera String Orchestra, Holy Covenant Anglican Church, June 22. Reviewed by LEN POWER.
“REIMAGININGS” proved to be an apt title for Musica Da Camera String Orchestra’s latest concert, which presented three works, two were variations of music by Tchaikovsky and Vivaldi, and the third, an Australian work that contained a set of variations on a main theme. The concert was conducted by Leonard Weiss.
The first work presented was “Variations on a theme by Tchaikovsky” which was composed by Anton Arensky. Although Tchaikovsky was 20 years older, he was a friend and great influence on Arensky.
The Variations are an arrangement of the second movement of Arensky’s “String Quartet No. 2 in A minor”. The theme is from the legend “When Christ was but a child” from Tchaikovsky’s “Sixteen Children’s Songs”. Despite a tuning issue amongst the violins, it was played with great feeling by the orchestra, especially the quieter passages.
The second item, “Like Snowdrops You Will Shine” was composed by French-Australian composer, Katia Beaugeais. Referring to the delicate snowdrop flowers that symbolise hope, optimism, courage and new beginnings, the work was designed to have a calming effect in a hospital environment. It shimmers with atmosphere and the orchestra gave it a fine performance. The composer was in the audience and received well-deserved applause at the end.
“The Four Seasons Recomposed” by Max Richter is a startling work from 2012. Taking parts of Vivaldi’s famous work, Richter makes them his own in a style described as postmodern and minimalist.
Violin soloist, Canberra’s Helena Popovic, joined the orchestra for this challenging work. She gave an excellent performance, full of passion and energy as well as sensitivity and delicacy in the quieter moments of the work. The orchestra complemented her performance with accuracy and energy. They all truly deserved the thunderous applause they received at the conclusion.
Once again, Musica Da Camera presented a fine concert. The nearly full house was a demonstration of their growing reputation amongst Canberra’s music lovers.