The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s headline Symphony Sequence live shows are introduced collectively in 2023 with emotional and elemental themes. Embrace, Vitality and Paradise will observe this slightly magical live performance programmed and promoted across the theme of Skyward.
4 seemingly disparate works – a symphonic poem from 1889, an impressive cello live performance from over 100 years earlier, a contemporary piece by a up to date Finnish composer and an excellent symphony from the Twenties – all got here collectively as a joyful and enriching program.
The night opened with Don Juan, a symphonic poem by Richard Strauss. This was the primary work to actually carry him worldwide acclaim and remains to be one in every of his hottest compositions. It was the orchestra right here that reached for the celebrities, slightly than the far more earthly issues of the legendary lover, and even the composer himself whose romantic liaisons have been slightly sophisticated on the time.
Don Juan bought the heart beat racing with its dramatic horns and thunderous passages that all of a sudden give method to far more reflective moods. The ASO stored up the vigorous tempo beneath vivid steering from visitor conductor Tarmo Peltokoski. There was pretty work for the woodwinds, and all credit score to principal oboeist Joshua Oates for his nuanced contribution. Concertmaster Kate Suthers additionally loved the highlight with the pleasant violin solo.
After one thing of a rearrangement on stage to go well with a smaller ensemble, it was time for the undoubted foremost occasion, Joseph Haydn’s virtuosic Cello Concerto No. 1 in C with soloist Li-Wei Qin, a Chinese language-Australian cellist of outstanding expertise. He had an astonishing feeling for the music as if he was at one together with his instrument. And maybe it’s in his DNA – his father was as soon as Principal Cellist with the Shanghai Symphony and his mom a live performance pianist. No shock then that he grew up enjoying each devices earlier than ultimately selecting to specialise within the cello.
This actually was a Concerto that allowed the soloist to shine with its prospers and enthusiasm, and the fantastic contrasts between the sooner first and third actions and the slower second. The communication between soloist and conductor was nearly telepathic as they reached for the heavens, sweeping the gamers of the ASO together with them.
After such a dramatic show, it appeared the viewers wanted the interval to catch their breath simply as a lot because the orchestra. The second half opened with a piece that actually reaches skyward, on this case exploring Ciel d’hiver, the winter sky. Composer Kaija Saariaho initially wrote this in 2002 as half of a bigger work, Orion; she re-orchestrated it in 2013 to face alone.
This was the Australian premiere efficiency of this mystical and soulful work and sadly got here three weeks after the composer died in Paris, some two-and-a-half years after being recognized with glioblastoma, an aggressive kind of mind most cancers. She was 70 when she died and had continued her lively involvement with music all through her sickness.
Ciel d’hiver was a meditation on the celebrities and the heavens as seen from an icy snowfield on a winter’s night time in Finland. It might not have been snowing in Adelaide, but it surely was suitably chilly and bleak! There was some particularly effective work for the harp, performed right here by Visitor Principal Lucy Reeves.
In any case that musical magic, there was nonetheless time and power for the ultimate piece, the achingly lovely Symphony No. 7 in C written by Jean Sibelius in 1924. This was certainly a masterwork that has typically been described as elemental. Composed as a single motion, this was his final symphony though many Sibelius students consider he might have written a minimum of some sections of an eighth.
Conductor Peltokoski selected to play the Sibelius with out the customary break for applause between the works, easily segueing into the Seventh from Ciel d’hiver as if that have been a prelude. Aside from inflicting a bit of confusion within the viewers, this did spotlight how works separated by the passage of time can nonetheless share a outstanding musical resonance. An acclaimed pianist, in addition to an excellent conductor, Peltokoski is at the moment finding out piano on the Sibelius Academy, and that affinity imbued the music. It’s onerous to consider he’s nonetheless solely 22 years previous; that is undoubtedly a profession to look at.
Learn: Theatre overview: Tiny Lovely Issues, Bille Brown Theatre
Skyward provided Adelaide audiences a beautiful alternative to see two famend worldwide music stars collectively. It additionally gave the gamers of the ASO a chance to play at their best, inspired skyward by a outstanding soloist and an inspirational conductor.
Skyward, Adelaide Symphony OrchestraAdelaide City Corridor
The ASO with Conductor Tarmo Peltokoski and Soloist Li-Wei Qin, cello.
Skyward performed on the Adelaide City Corridor on 23-24 June 2023.