Saturday, June 16, 2012

Birthday celebrations

Thursday was my birthday and I started early by getting to 3MBS by 5.45. With NA I presented the Daybreak program - the previous week NA had panelled for me but this week I did the lot, panelling and presenting. It went off well and NA seemed pleased with my performance. I will be doing next week as well and NA says he thinks that should be enough; he will sign off on me.

As well next week I am presenting Wednesday night's Music for keyboards program - this one I have programmed as well. The program slot is up for grabs until the end of the year and after Wednesday I might consider putting my hand up for it. We'll see.

In the afternoon on Thursday I went over to South Melbourne for a wonderful concert at ANAM. Organised by Georgia Ioakimidis-MacDougall, horn player, for her mid-year recital it began with a première performance of Bells by Peter de Jager and was a very effective piece for three horns. This was followed by a performance by Lotte Betts-Dean of Paul Stanhope's Songs for the Shadowland, settings of poems by Oodgeroo Noonuccal; she was accompanied by a small chamber ensemble. An interesting work; I'd also like to hear more of Betts-Dean's singing.

The major work, and the main reason I was there, was Strauss' Four Last Songs in the chamber arrangement by James Ledger performed by the glorious Siobhán Stagg. A larger chamber ensemble accompanied Siobhán who gave an amazingly mature performance of these wondrous songs. It made a highlight for my day.

But it didn't end there - later I met up with PR and BS for a truly extraordinary dinner at Hare and Grace. I started with a delicious salmon dish with pomegranate from the specials menu; BS had the Eton Mess (with oysters, yet) and PR had the Atlantic salmon with cracked wheat ash.

For mains I had an intensely flavoured braised lamb that had been cooked for six hours, BS had the restaurant's take on a chiko roll and PR had the braised beef with cured pear. For dessert I had candied parsnips (I kid you not), PR the lemon 'liquid' tart and BS the 'Storm in a teacup', which consisted of parsley icecream, beetroot jelly, coconut ice and fried shallots.

We all declared our meals to be excellent.

In all, a wonderful day.

Then last night we went to the Town Hall to hear the MSO perform Shostakovich and Mahler. The concert began with the Shostakovich violin concerto played by Julian Rachlin - it's an amazing tour-de-force and Rachlin's playing was extraordinary. He rightly received loud cheers and applause, from the orchestra as well as the audience.

After interval we were treated to a performance of Mahler's Symphony no 4, with Emma Matthews singing in the last movement. Benjamin Northey, who stepped in at the last minute to replace Donald Runnicles, did a great job directing what is one of Mahler's most accessible symphonies. Emma Matthews delivered the goods.


Post a Comment

<< Home