When and Where: Iluminate Tuesday 16 February, 6.30pm, The Hills Grammar School | 43 Kenthurst Road, Kenthurst
Thursday 18 February, 7.30pm, Newcastle City Hall, 290 King Street, Newcastle
Friday 19 February, 7.00pm, City Recital Hall,2 Angel Place, Sydney
Voyage of Musical Discovery “Motivic Development” Wednesday 17 February, 6.30pm, City Recital Hall, 2 Angel Place, Sydney
What: Max Bruch Serenade for Strings after Swedish Melodies/ Benjamin Britten Les Illuminations/ Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Souvenir de Florence, Op.70
Who: Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra/ Rachael Beesley Director/ Jacqueline Porter Soprano
The Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra kicks off its 2021 concert season with Illuminate, a European musical journey from the comfort of the concert hall in thrilling live performances!
Australia’s champion of historically informed performance, with a galaxy of Australian international stars playing period string instruments, returns to the live concert stage in February with the first of its 2021 offerings. Illuminate features the music of Bruch and Tchaikovsky and welcomes back soprano Jacqueline Porter to perform Britten’s remarkable song cycle Les Illuminations, with text by French poet Arthur Rimbaud.
Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence begins in the tranquil air of the Mediterranean before taking us directly to the Motherland, its fourth and final movement intensely Russian and Romantic. Bruch’s Serenade for Strings after Swedish Melodies is a seldom-heard but beautiful example of his life-long attraction to folk tunes and themes. And Britten’s Les Illuminations couples some of his most remarkable string writing with the words of French poet Arthur Rimbaud to create something evocative, fantastical.
In describing his Les Illuminations, Benjamin Britten wrote, “The word ‘Illuminations’ suggests both the vision of a mystic and a brightly coloured picture”. It is this sense of a technicolour canvas that the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra invokes in Illuminate, led by Rachael Beesley and featuring soprano Jacqueline Porter.
The February concerts also feature the first of the year’s popular Voyage of Musical Discovery education series – equal part concert and demonstration – this time focusing on ‘motivic development’. Australia’s consummate saxophone virtuoso Nick Russoniello features with Suite for Saxophones & Loop Station.