REVIEW: Classical Melodies


Joined by some international guests, the ARCO Chamber Soloists show us just what period instruments are capable of.

City Recital Hall, Sydney
May 18, 2018

Chamber music has a lot to compete with on a Friday night in Sydney, but HIP band the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra – distilled to their essence in the form of the ARCO Chamber Soloists – rewarded those who came out to City Recital Hall for Classical Melodies with a concert well worth the trip.

Mozart’s most famous piece of occasional music, Serenade No. 13 K525 or Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, has long suffered for its popularity, but the ARCO musicians with their period instruments gave a performance that shed new light on a work whose concert tradition has been eclipsed by its use as muzak and fodder (in simplified arrangements) for primary school bands. Guest violinist Jakob Lehmann (whose regular gig is concertmaster with Anima Eterna Brugge) struck a beautiful balance with ARCO’s own concertmaster Rachael Beesley, their combined sound a thing of shining beauty at the top of the ensemble with Deirdre Dowling on viola, and cellist Natasha Kraemer and bass Kirsty McCahon setting the lower end ablaze. The phrases of the first movement breathed organically, exuding a natural joie de vivre, while there was pathos in the sighing figures and clean lines of the Romanze. If there was a moment of uneasy intonation in the final cadence of the Menuetto, the scurrying finale brimmed with life, Kraemer and McCahon again driving the music forward, the whole work infused with a light-touch sense of humour.

The Octet for Winds and Strings by now rarely performed Beethoven contemporary Peter von Winter saw the ARCO Chamber Soloists augmented by two more international guests, ... to continue reading, please follow this link to the Limelight website.