|NEWS BIOGRAPHY CONTACT REVIEWS RECORDINGS PHOTOS VIDEO ARTICLES EDITIONS INSTRUMENT|
Jet-setting with loads of style
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
MUSICAL jet-setting reached an apogee of absurdity on Monday when British cellist Julian Lloyd Webber flew into Sydney to play the Haydn. C Major Concerto. which takes all of 22 minutes, with the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
He is doing exactly the same thing in Armidale, Canberra, Hobart, Launceston, Geelong and Melbourne, all within 11 days.
Yet any impression of extravagance in using an imported sledge hammer to crack a familiar nut was at least partially mollified by his highly individual performance.
His technique is superb, and there is a sense of eagerness, a swinging freshness in his delivery during fast movements which is mesmeric.
To the adagio he brought strong contrasts in dynamics, making it unusually romantic. The whole approach was one to make us sit up and take notice.
The two symphonies on the program were Haydn’s No. 44, nicknamed Trauer (‘Mourning”) because of its consistent seriousness, and Mozart’s No. 33.
Richard Hickox conducted them with clear signals devoid of showmanship; he is a more matter-of-fact conductor, less overtly idiosyncratic, than Christopher Hogwood, and the result had a certain stolidity.
The ACO responded more neatly to Haydn than Mozart; the latter had some distinctly unpolished patches.
In this program, Elgar’s Serenade for Strings seemed rather like a fish out of water, but in some ways it was the prettiest fish of all.
And it did support a feeling that the greatest strength of the ACO lies in its body of strings.