Vasse Felix Festival – ACO in Margaret River, WA in December

Each year the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) makes a pilgrimage to the Vasse Felix Winery in the beautiful Margaret River area of Western Australia to thrill the crowds with their virtuoso playing in an idyllic setting. This year with the direction of guest Concertmaster Dale Barlthrop of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, they will play a wonderful program of diverse works in the Art Gallery; Mozart & Mendelssohn on Friday 6th December at 7pm, Violin Showcase on Saturday 7th December at 4:30 pm and Vitality, Sunday 8th December at 3pm.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s vivacious lighthearted Divertimento was the music played to accompany banquets and other social events. The mood of the piece set the atmosphere because any serious music would have been deemed inappropriate for gatherings of this kind; it was the task of the composer to amuse the guests without distracting them from eating, drinking and making merry. The Divertimento in B flat Major K.137, was dedicated to the countess Lodron and written like a small symphony. Felix Mendelssohn (1809=-1847) was regarded by many critics as the 19th century equivalent to Mozart. He was among the best and most influential of composers and the ACO will play his String Symphony No.12

Works in the Violin Showcase will include a work by another of the 18th century composing genius Ludwig van Beethoven (1712-1773). His bright, lyrical string quartet in D follows after interval before Geminiani’s setting of the Baroque master Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713, whose Op.5 “La Folia” featured Corelli’s virtuoso violin part with the addition of a second solo violin. Barltrop has arranged Austrian Franz Schubert’s Rondo in B minor written during the autumn of 1826, the violin being Schubert’s most seriously studied instrument.

Sensational string works by Stravinsky and Vivaldi will kick start the Festival finale, with ACO viola player Caroline Henbest featuring in Sally Beamish’s Celtic psalm-inspired Under the Wing of the Rock. The Vasse Felix Festival will close for another year with the beloved, swooning serenade by Antonin Leopold Dvo?ák (1841-1904), who frequently featured the folk music of Moravia in his native Bohemia.  Email [email protected]. The concerts sell out quickly.

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