Thursday, April 28, 2016

Omega Ensemble in Sydney

When I saw that the Omega Ensemble had put Wagner's Tristan and Isolde Vorspiel and Lebenstod at the beginning of their concert program last week I wondered if the programmer had had a mental lapse. How do you follow such music? Abrahmsen has a rich creamy voice and as she sang the Liebestod I wished it had been at the end of the evening instead of the beginning. (She sang Strauss's Four Last Songs as a finale.)

Maria Rospopova plays
Fortunately the composer of the second piece, Andrew Ford of the ABC music show, was on hand to introduce his own piece Contradance which followed the Liebestod.

The first thing he said was 'Well, how do you follow that? Perhaps by me keeping talking so there is a sufficient gap."
That is exactly what he did and by the time we heard Contradance we were in the right mood. Contradance was so different to what went before that there was no clash, but still I was pleased he had taken the time to create a gap.

Thirteen musicians performed on the evening but I was fascinated by the pianist Maria Raspopova. She is tall and sits very straight at the piano with her long legs tucked underneath. She added wonderfully to the sound of the group and was a pleasure to watch.

It was a successful evening, even if I would have wished for Isolde at the end instead of the beginning!

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