The Brandenburg Quartet, whose talented musicians are at the forefront of period instrument playing in Australia, is about to embark on its third and biggest national tour in April with concerts to be presented in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide, with this time adding Brisbane
Comprising the four principal string players of the multi ARIA Award-winning Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, hailing from Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne, the players on gut stringed period instruments are violinists Shaun Lee-Chen and Ben Dollman with Monica O’Dea on viola and Jamie Hey on cello.
Together they perform well-loved quartets by composers rarely heard today.
“The sound of gut strings on period instruments is raw, rich and complex,” says Perth’s Shaun Lee-Chen, the Brandenburg’s concertmaster and first violin in the quartet.
He continued “The Brandenburg Quartet is exciting for me as I’ve always wanted to be in a String Quartet on period instruments” he said. “We have played together and been extremely close friends for many years… and this means we bring to the stage something… unique and personal.”
Last year we reported at their concert in the Salon at Melbourne Recital Centre ‘the music by this splendid quartet of musicians, was delivered with conviction. Rich, round mellow sounds flew around the salon as the players performed at a pinnacle of perfection the complex textures of music that became embedded in everyone’s heart’.
Reflecting both anguish and torment balanced by pure moments of joy and elation music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries reached out through many fashionable facades to dramatically touch the sublime.
Rhythm, melody, harmony and colour elements contribute to creating an art of sound, especially when performed in a space based on mathematic principles, which since ancient times have been designed to enhance acoustic sensibility.
The Salon fulfills these ideals, presenting as an intimate place in which to enjoy the music of friends, unique sounds of music rarely presented.
The Italian born cellist from Lucca, who influenced the development of the string quartet, composer Luigi Rodolfo Boccherini (1743-1805) produced his String Quartet in D major, Op. 8, No. 1, G165 around 1768. It features his music’s most characteristic contribution to his period of Baroque music; gentle warmth and grace.
His colleague Gaetano Brunetti (1744-1798) had very little of his music published either in his lifetime or since his death. He also produced progressive, graceful melodies for small ensembles and symphonies for the Royal Chamber Orchestra in Madrid, where he worked for Kings Charles III and IV.
Generous to all, Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770 – 1827) is widely considered as the greatest composer who ever lived. He certainly embraced the idea his music should appeal to the world at large embracing the notion man and nature were in harmony with each other and happy.
He wanted everyone to feel as if they were on as intimate terms with him and his compositions. His high standards of sheer excellence remained the same, whether he was playing to masses of people or to select members of the nobility in a salon.
The String Quartet in C Minor Op. 18, No 4 was composed between 1798 and 1800 and published in 1801, at a time when he was better known for his piano works par excellence.
Should be a very special event.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept, 2019
Violin: Shaun Lee-Chen and Ben Dollman
Viola: Monica O’Dea
Cello: Jamie Hey
Saturday 6 April, 7PM
Melbourne Recital Centre
Primrose Potter Salon
Sunday 7 April, 5PM
Government House Ballroom
Tuesday 9 April, 7PM
The Old Museum
Friday 12 April, 7.30PM
Saturday 13 April, 7PM
Luigi Boccherini String Quartet in D major, Op. 8, No. 1, G165
Hyacinthe Jadin String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 2, No. 1
Gaetano Brunetti String Quartet in A minor, Op. 2, No. 4
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4