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Acclaimed Dutch cellest Teije Hylkema is the guest artist at Omega Ensemble's third concert in their 2016 Virtuoso Series - Elgar's Cello Concerto.
George Palmer writes 'The opening movement of this work is about the affection of good friends.' Clarinetests Dimitri Ashkenazy and David Rowden first met at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music during a master class and have remained good friends ever since.
The opening movement was delivered with a robust energy which made the most of the contrasts between solo, small group and tutti passages. In the slow movement flautist Lisa Osmialowski displayed subtle legato playing over a warm cushion of lower instruments
What was striking however, was the clarity of the sound, the high levels of musicianship and the impressive way in which this group filled a large venue that I’m used to hearing much larger ensembles perform at.
Rowden and John Lewis’s clarinets chirped in the scherzo over the burbling bassoons and the horns rang out their joyful calls in the last movement.
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Omega Ensemble’s next performance is not a rendition of the Bette Midler tear-jerker, but Beethoven’s Seventh. With a 9-piece Wind Ensemble this arrangement is certainly a unique and complex rendition of the timeless masterpiece. The performance will feature two Oboes, two Clarinets, two French Horns, two Bassoons and a Contabasson. That’s certainly a lot of wind.
David Rowden gave a commanding performance of the substantial material on offer. His virtuosic display was varied, covering beautiful tone and line through to dazzling bravura.
The first movement features difficult runs on the piano in which the pianist, Maria Raspopova shone. The cello was prominent in the introspective Adagio while the clarinettist, David Rowden, shone in the finale, a set of variations on the above song.
Following the critically acclaimed first performance of their 2016 Virtuoso Series, Omega Ensemble return for an exquisite second night at City Recital Hall. In a program of discovery and intrigue, the evening brings together three works by composers of the classical and romantic eras.
Omega Ensemble ACN 120 304 725 is listed on the Australian Government’s Register of Cultural Organisations maintained under Subdivision 30-B of Part 2-1 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth).