Impassioned, fun, fabulous, mesmerizing. Yes, all of those things describe the Sequenza Italiana concert given by musicians of the Australian Chamber Orchestra with visiting cello-virtuoso Giovanni Sollima. I sat in the concert wishing everyone I knew could be with me watching this passionate and competent group of people.
Maxime Bibeau (Double Bass) and Satu Vänskä (Violin) played sequenza by Berio, pieces written specifically for their instruments and intertwined by the players to make a fascinating whole. Bravo Max and Satu! Satu later played a piece by Paganini, relaxed and happy and with her flying fingers showing us just how lucky we are to have her here in Australia.
When Sollima played I wished all the under 20's of my acquaintance could be with me. They wouldhave learned in a single concert the fun and joy of classical music.
Sollima plays every part of his instrument, not only the strings but the wood and even strut that holds his cello from the floor. I think he'd play the music stand if he had one. The interesting thing is that it doesn't seem contrived. The sounds he produces from wood and metal are different from those produced by the strings and are an essential part of his composition. By the time his piece finishes it doesn't seem strange that he is playing the instrument as a whole, wood, metal and strings.
I wrote yesterday about my pre-concert experience and to have it followed by a captivating concert such as this, well you can see why I was lost for words. All I can say is that it was a day I shall not forget.