Orchestra playing
Calendar, June 19, Music, Performing arts

Music: Baroque: Rebel, de Filippo, Zelenka and Martinu

29 June @ Callaway Music Auditorium ·
Presented by Izaak Wesson and the Perth Orchestra Project ·

Join the Perth Orchestra Project and conductor Izaak Wesson for an evening that challenges your expectations of the ‘Baroque’ style. POP is very proud to present this programme of unorthodox, and rarely performed works in association with Artists-in-Residence Cecilia Sun and Rob Gladstones. POP also welcomes Composer-in-Residence for this season Stephen de Filippo, whose new work for harpsichord and orchestra will be premiered in this concert.

Experience the eclectic, bold, and ultimately astounding compositional styles of Rebel, de Filippo, Zelenka and Martinu in this one-off performance at the Callaway Music Auditorium.

More info
W: www.facebook.com/PerthOrchestraProject/
E:  saskia.willinge@perthorchestraproject.com.au

Pictured: Izaak Wesson Conducts the Perth Orchestra Project, (c) Finlay Cooper 2018

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Jordi Savall
Classical music, Music, News, Performing arts, Reviews

Foot stomping and whistles!

Perth Festival review: Jordi Savall ·
Perth Concert Hall, 17 February ·
Review by Varnya Bromilow ·

Why do we like the music we like?  Ever since I can remember, medieval/early baroque music has resonated with me in a way that I have no explanation for.  I mean, sure, my forebears are from the UK (how fabulously exotic!) but my great-grandfather was making brooms not playing the viola da gamba.  There is something about the melody, even the tempo of European music from the 1600’s that feels both familiar and deeply evocative to me.

Jordi Savall is a master of this style.  The acclaimed Catalan musician formed the early music group, Hesperion XX in Basel, Switzerland back in 1974.  (The group rebranded itself as Hesperion XXI with the change of the century.)  The ensemble is renowned for its scholarship of early music from the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly that of Spanish origin.  For this series of concerts, Savall has brought in Mexico’s Tembembe Ensamble Continuo as collaborators.  Tembembe is a chamber group devoted to the performance of Hispanic baroque music and a form Indigenous to Mexico known as ‘son’.  A love of early music is not the only common thread binding these groups – both are known for their improvisation around old melodies and their reworking of early music.

The evening began with the players filing onstage, carrying instruments largely unfamiliar to contemporary audiences.  The only one I knew immediately was the harp.  But apart from that, it was all one could do from pulling out one’s phone and plugging “tiny guitar” into Google.  (Savall explained later – it’s called a mosquito)  There was a large wooden box upon which a player sat, drumming the softest, most melodic bass notes (marimbol); a plump guitar (huapanguera); a lute with an extremely long neck (theorbo) and an array of others.  And I haven’t even mentioned the horse jaw yet!

There followed a luscious assortment of songs and music from the 15th and 16th centuries, much of it improvised.  Kicking off with the sublime La Spagna by Spanish composer Diego Ortiz (ca. 1510 – ca. 1570), the program alternated between early music from Spain and that of Mexico.  Often, songs would follow on immediately from each other, highlighting stylistic and tonal similarities.  Between others there would be a pause, allowing the musicians to change instruments and the audience to break out into rapturous applause.  The Mexican contributions were frequently highlighted by the remarkable vocals of two singers – Ada Coronel and Zenen Zeferino.  From the first strains of Zeferino’s emotive tones, the audience was putty in his hands.  The play between the two singers was gorgeous to watch – these are sensual songs – and served to highlight the cool reserve of the European repertoire.

It goes without saying that musicians of this calibre are incredible to watch, but what was particularly noticeable about these groups was the camaraderie amongst the players.  (I guess when you’ve been playing together for 30-plus years, you’d want to get along.)  Harpist Andrew Lawrence-King (who, if you can picture it, would have been voted Person-Most-Likely-To-Play-Baroque-Harp in high school) is Hesperion’s resident jester, frequently prompting stifled giggles from guitarist Xavier Dias-Latorre.  Dias-Latorre, is should be said, is an astonishing player, extracting the most intricate melodies from his early baroque guitars with extraordinary ease.

We were entranced.  I expected the standing ovation at the performance’s conclusion, but not the whistling and foot stomping!  There’s nothing better than seeing a silver-haired elderly woman waving her arms and stamping her feet for more medieval music.  It made my festival.  Who says classical music is dying?

Jordi Savall plays Government House on February 18th.

Photo by Toni Wilkinson

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April 18, Calendar, February 18, June 18, March 18, May 18, Visual arts

Visual art: A Window on Italy – The Corsini Collection: Masterpieces from Florence

24 February – 18 June 2018 @ Art Gallery of WA.

A CITY. A FAMILY. A COLLECTION OF MAGNIFICENCE.

Introducing the private art collection of one of Florence’s most eminent families, the Corsini family.

Featuring Renaissance and Baroque paintings by Italian artists such as Botticelli, Tintoretto, Caravaggio and Pontormo – these extraordinary works of art have been preserved over centuries, surviving the devastation of World War II and the great flood of Florence.

This personal collection includes portraits, landscapes, mythological and religious paintings, plus fascinating decorative objects and furniture from the Palazzo Corsini.

Leaving the city it’s called home for 600 years, this is the first time this collection has toured outside Italy and will be the only showing in Australia.

Experience for yourself this uniquely visual history of passion, fortune, and survival.

Opening Weekend – a Florentine Festival
10am-5pm, Saturday 24 February
Experience Italian life with an opening day celebration featuring Florentine history, Italian food and wine, art-making activities.
Guided Tours

The Corsini Collection
1-2pm, Thursdays–Sundays
Tour free, exhibition admission fees apply
Pre-book a guided tour as part of your exhibition experience and join a Voluntary Gallery Guide for a revealing insight into this magnificent, private collection.

Sunday Series
2-3pm, 11 March, 8 April, 13 May, 10 June
Why not buy a season pass and join us on the second Sunday of each month for a tour series covering the religion, beauty, colour and history of the Corsini Collection.

Win a Trip to Italy
Thanks to Singapore Airlines
Every exhibition ticket purchased goes into the prize draw for a fantastic trip for two to Rome and Florence including a private tour of the Palazzo Corsini on the banks of the Arno River.

Tickets on sale now!

More info: www.artgallery.wa.gov.au
Email: admin@artgallery.wa.gov.au

Top: Sandro Botticelli and workshop (Italian, b. c1445, d.1510) Madonna and Child with Six Angels c1500 tempera and oil on board 165 x 165 cm (framed) 143 cm

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