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Concert Reviews - 21 May 2017 - Beethoven's First

Ingrid Martin conducting Luke Hutton's new work, Catching Trains of Thought

Jack Schiller and Joseph Lallo accepting applause for the Weber Bassoon Concerto

Bronislaw Sozanski

At the Daylesford Town Hall on Sunday 21st of May the Zelman Symphony gave an outstanding display of orchestral music, with a mostly 19th century Germanic program. The orchestra was conducted by Ingrid Martin (first half) and Joseph Lallo (second half), with the Zelman Symphony going through a changing of the guard period at the podium.

The concert was bookended with Beethoven, opening with the Coriolan Overture and closing with the first symphony. In both works the orchestral textures were very well shaped with good balance between the parts, exciting rhythmic energy and a full range of dynamics to build the drama. Of the two conductors Lallo’s broader experience produced a slightly more engaging result.

The Zelman Symphony has a connection with the University of Melbourne Conservatorium in promoting the work of up and coming composers. The premiere of Luke Hutton’s Catching Trains of Thought revealed a composition of interest and colour. The repeated notes portrayed the movement of the train very well while the variety of orchestration in the episodes helped create the disconnected thoughts.

Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll completed the first half. This very personal work is a challenge for any orchestra because of its continuous melody and deliberate dreamy character, hence the title. This performance was characterised by a strong sense of purpose and melodic direction.

The bassoon concerto of Weber was the highlight of the concert. Soloist Jack Schiller displayed virtuosity and commitment throughout, working seamlessly with the orchestra. The allegro passages moved with ease while the lyricism of the adagio showed the profound depth that this complex instrument can reach.

The Zelman Symphony continues to provide interesting programs and support new compositions. Its annual visit to Daylesford gives the local community the opportunity to experience great orchestral music and excellent soloists.

Bronislaw Sozanski BA Dip.Ed. ATCL MVMTA

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