A Little Lunch Music with Edwards and Schaupp at the City Recital Hall, Angel Place in Sydney was a sublime concert to complete a special year of music for me. Thanks to Artistic director Kathryn Selby for orchestrating such a special finale to a year of splendid concerts.
Widely hailed Australian chamber musicians Claire Edwardes (marimba-vibraphone) and Karin Schaupp (guitar) teamed up for the first time in 2015 in an all Australian program featuring brand new works written especially for the pair.
They celebrated contemporary Australian composers with an intimate concert through the mellow and sensual sounds of the marimba and guitar. The quality of sounds from these instruments was enhanced by the specially designed acoustics of the City Recital Hall at Angel Place in the heart of the city of Sydney.
This animated performance took the audience on a rousing musical journey through the contrasting Australian landscape. The colours, textures, shapes and patterns of our diverse landscape were richly and evocatively captured in the music.
In Di Primavera by the Australian composer Maria Grenfell, the warm breezes of the late afternoon were expressed in the frolicking notes of the marimba and the lyrical qualities of the guitar. The rippling sounds of water dripping in soft and gentles cascades tumbled from the marimba as Claire Edwardes elegantly danced around her beloved instrument.
Beautifully sustained notes from both instruments were heard as the surge and thrust of water was struck on the marimba and balanced by the gentler sounds of the guitar.
She introduced the piece by describing the composer’s recollections of the fauna and the magnificent Mt Warning located in the picturesque Tweed Valley.
The first movement was infused with the call of the Kingfisher. In this solo by Karen Schaupp she sympathetically fingered the images of birds soaring, darting, playing and cavorting joyous in their gentle flight, taking the audience into the sky.
The timbres of misty mornings on the mountain were hauntingly scenic. The light of the day began to grasp the dew and scatter the shadows.
The plucking and strumming of the guitar heralded the day and resonated with the mist.
Karin Schaupp played the humorous third movement suggesting all the frolicking and croaking of frogs. The repeated motif was very amusing as frogs clumsily hopped restless and hungry.
The birds returned in the fourth movement gently gliding, hovering and dipping.
Being a fan of the long running television series The West Wing, created by Aaron Sorkin, meeting Director Producer Thomas Schlamme in conversation with Sandy Shaw at the Dendy Cinema in the Circular Quay Sydney Harbour venue was both exhilarating and informative. Certainly it added a personal connection to my recent viewing of this now considered landmark series on DVD.
Kingston Anderson from the Australian Directors Guild (ADG) proudly introduced the audience to a select show reel that showcased the ground breaking, diverse and eclectic work of director-producer Thomas Schlamme.
Scenes from his enormous body of work stimulated curiosity within the audience as they were about to discover more information about this charismatic man. They included glimpses of television series like The West Wing (1999-2003), Murder in the First (2004), Manhattan (2014-), Pan Am (2011-2012), Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2006-2007),Invasion (2005), Mr Sunshine (2011), Friends (1994-2004), The Americans (2013-), Invasion (2005), Mr Sunshine (2011), Boston Public (2000-2004), Mad About You (1992-1999).
Thomas Schlamme’s warmth and sense of humour were immediately apparent as he dryly commented that he had directed everything except the show reel.
Most of the evening’s questions were about the powerful drama of The West Wing. Its first season honours included the prestigious Peabody Award for excellence in television, plus an unprecedented nine Emmy Awards’
“The best written, best performed, best produced and most compelling drama on the air” quoted the New York Daily News.
Thomas Schlamme had created his famed ‘walk and talk’ signature style with The West Wing. When invited to discuss The West Wing it bought back “fond memories” to Thomas Schlamme as he reminisced about how very exciting it was being involved in a television series that became a massive hit in its second season.
Thomas Schlamme elaborated on the key factors of the show’s success.
At the time of making the series the American people were feeling overwhelmed about the state of politics and government decisions. The series maintained the notion that the public service and the government were trying to do their best.
The series celebrated public service by making the participants real. The characters were believable, at times vulnerable and endowed with the positive and negative qualities that reflect human nature. This was very different from the cynicism of popular culture.
Thomas Schlamme confided “we need to be careful about the messages sent out.” He believed he had a responsibility to the viewers. In addition to this benevolent vision the mixture of comedy and seriousness hit the spot-on combination at the right moment.
So it’s that time of year again.
Christmas decorations are out in all the shopping malls and if you are anything like me the mere thought of holiday shopping just seems to have snuck up way to fast for my liking!
Every year it is the same, we seem to just celebrate Easter, then it’s all tinsel and pudding and I’m left thinking surely I skipped a month!
Well, unless I missed something there is no mystical 30 days between November and December that someone forgot to tell me about.
So the best thing for it is get out there and shop!
Where to start, I hear you ask.
Christmas is a time to enjoy special experiences, and annually with their stunning Noël Noël concert, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (ABO) ensures their patrons, sponsors and supporters enjoy a Merry Christmas with a special night out second to none.
The First Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!
First published in 1823, The First Noel is today considered a traditional English carol. It has been sung down the years by many famous singers, including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Whitney Houston, Josh Groban, Lady Antebellum and many more.
It tells the story of the Nativity of Jesus, described in The Bible in the Gospel of Luke 2:2-21 at a period of the year when it is time to talk about the birth and life of Jesus of Nazareth and listen to the Christmas Message of caring, courage, compassion and love.
Paul Dyer, ABO Artistic Director noted that …’with me, there’s always a bit of a twist, a lovely surprise and an adventure into the unexpected. This year I’m introducing one of most exciting young singers I’ve heard in recent years.’
Now a tradition on the Australian musical scene, this year the guest artist will be the very lovely singer-songwriter Emma Birdsall who became a rising star when she became a finalist on The Voice Australia in 2012.
The artistic tradition in Baroque music was born of an exciting free imagination. It achieved a complete medium of expression as well as the highest pinnacle of achievement in a climate seldom granted to any other generation.
They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East beyond them far
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!
Showcasing musical treasures from traditional carols to more recent hits, the ABO concert with guest artist Emma Birdsall and the thrilling voices of the Brandenburg Choir will be sure to round off your musical year with a smile.
Noël! Noël! Starts in Melbourne on Saturday 5th December and finishes at Sydney Saturday 19th December 2015. Venue Details, Dates and Times | BUY Tickets
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Christmas is a time to enjoy special experiences, and annually with their stunning Noël Noël concert, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (ABO) ensures their patrons, sponsors and supporters enjoy a Merry Christmas with a special night out second to none. The First Noel, the Angels did say Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they […]
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