Thursday, December 11, 2008

Orchestra Project

On Tuesday night B&P (freshly returned and relaxed after their Blue Mountains holiday) and I went to the South Melbourne Town Hall to attend a concert for ANAM. As it turned out we were there to celebrate the news that the academy will continue to operate as it is, at least for another year.

The Orchestra Project, a huge orchestra made up of ANAM alumni and members from many other Australian orchestras, played an all-Strauss program. The first half was the Four Last Songs, very nicely sung by Joanna Cole - such a treat to hear such gorgeous music so well performed. After interval the orchestra leapt into Ein Heldenleben, the massive ego-centric tone poem Strauss wrote about himself. It was terrific - Fabian Russell, the conductor, handled the huge work sensitively, allowing the music to breathe when necessary but allowing the players full-rein at the climaxes.

While the hall may have been a bit small for such large forces, I think I prefer it to Hamer Hall - the bass sound was fabulous, something I would never say about the concert hall, and I could hear most of the inner lines quite clearly as well. All in all, it was a wonderful night of music.

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