REVIEW: REVOLUTIONARY ROMANCE
(AUSTRALIAN ROMANTIC & CLASSICAL ORCHESTRA)

ANGUS MCPHERSON on SEPTEMBER 18, 2017

★★★★½
A wonderfully intimate offering from Richard Gill's ARCO Chamber Soloists.

City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney
September 17, 2017


For its third and final concert of the year, Revolutionary Romance, Richard Gill’s period instrument ensemble the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra stripped back to chamber forces in a tight programme that allowed the ensemble’s individual voices to shine.

Kicking off the performance was the first movement of Louis Spohr’s 1848 Op.140 String Sextet, written, according to a note the composer wrote in the margin, “at the time of the glorious people’s revolution… and reawakening of Germany.” But despite its genesis amid the turmoil that engulfed Europe during the middle of the 19th century, the work is pastoral, the Allegro Moderato opening with a rich cello and viola melody, adorned by sparkling, bird-like trilling in the violins. A little more uneasiness was introduced as the parts swapped, the violins carrying the shimmering melody while the trilling flourishes became ominous exclamations in the bass, but overall this was a work of pleasant, beautifully textured melodies, which the six ARCO Chamber Soloists led by violinist Rachael Beesley shaped with an exquisitely organic, breath-like phrasing. Mimé Yamahiro-Brinkmann’s cello kept the ensemble moving forward, particularly in her charged walking-bass pizzicato accompaniment, the ensemble surging forward with fluid impetus.

 Rachael Beesley, Anna McMichael, Jane Rogers, Mimé Yamahiro-Brinkmann and Nicole van Bruggen. Photo © Nick Gilbert

Rachael Beesley, Anna McMichael, Jane Rogers, Mimé Yamahiro-Brinkmann and Nicole van Bruggen. Photo © Nick Gilbert

The heart of this programme, however, was Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K581... to continue reading, please follow this link to the Limelight website.