The first concert is by Gut Instincts, which features Liane Sadler (flute), Meg Cohen (violin), and Alice Chance (viola da gamba). The young trio will be performing Marais’ Prelude and Gigue from Suite II in G minor, Corelli’s Trio Sonata op 3 no 2, and Vivaldi’s Trio Sonata in E minor op 1 no 2.
Entry is by gold coin donation. Performances begin at 1:15 and finish at 1:45.
As well as wonderful wine, delicious food, and excellent company, this year’s festival included the Doric String Quartet, Freddy Kempf, Ramon Ortega Quero, Andrew Goodwin, Daniel de Borah, Paul Wright, Elizabeth Sellars, Sophie Rowell, Sally Boud, Rachel Johnston, Andrew Meisel, Dimity Hall, Irina Morozova, Julian Smiles, Paul Dean, Ian Munro, Hoang Pham, Tim Buzbee, Jesica Buzbee, Emma Sholl, and Shelley Soerensen.
Please enjoy this selection of photos from the 2013 Huntington Estate Music Festival.
For more information, please visit; www.musicaviva.com.au/whatson/huntington
Academy Of Ancient Music & Sara Macliver, Melbourne Recital Centre, November 12
Celebrating its 40th anniversary year, the Academy of Ancient Music under director Richard Egarr was joined by soprano Sara Macliver for the final concert of Musica Viva’s season.
Opening the program was 17th-century English theatre music united thematically by texts from Shakespeare. Matthew Locke’s instrumental music from The Tempest defies stylistic preconceptions of the Baroque featuring some strange and unsettling harmonies, wandering melodic lines and curious dissonance.
A suite from Purcell’s The Fairy-Queen featured arias from Macliver interspersed with jaunty instrumental dances. Macliver’s gentle characterisation of When I Have Often Heard was well suited, but best was the restraint of the moving The Plaint (O Let me Weep) and See, Even Night Herself is Here.
Thomas Arne’s brief overture No. 6 in B flat major and the sinfonia from Handel’s Saul demonstrated the band’s performance style through fast bow, antiphonal entries, slowly resolving dissonance, sharp ensemble that retains degrees of freedom internally and a marvellous, often playful energy.
Macliver’s pitching and phrasing were near flawless in Handel arias including the beautiful, sorrowful interplay with oboist Frank de Bruine in Ah! spietato.
Let the Bright Seraphim saw trading of articulations and ornamentation with trumpeter David Blackadder, a contest continued in Eternal Source of Light Divine.
This article originally appeared in the Age on November 14, 2013 at; http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/music/jaunty-angelic-ode-to-baroque-20131113-2xgv7.html#ixzz2kx4UmPQm
Reviewed by Graham Strahle
Academy of Ancient Music & Sara Macliver, Adelaide Town Hall, November 6
THE Academy of Ancient Music won affection the world over in the 1970s as one of the first period instrument orchestras. Under founding director Christopher Hogwood, it had the field largely to itself in those days, but today there are many other such orchestras all working at the top level.
How AAM presently rates under Richard Egarr, who succeeded Hogwood in 2006, is clear the moment this band puts bow to gut string in its current, English-themed Musica Viva concert tour.
The playing has an intriguing relaxed but energised grace that contrasts with the hyper excitability of some period instrument bands. Matthew Locke’s pint-sized instrumental pieces for Thomas Shadwell’s version of The Tempest were gorgeously smooth – to the point where one could hardly distinguish individual instruments – but rhythmically scintillating. Egarr is a brilliant director who supplies much of the academy’s creative edge.
A powerhouse of a harpsichordist, he conducts from the keyboard with big, vigorous gestures that sweep up his players and propel the music forward. Yet everything is immaculately well mannered. Not one note in the Locke was forced or strained.
The other big revelation in this concert is the singing of Perth soprano Sara Macliver. Excerpts from Purcell’s The Fairy Queen showed she is easily the equal of this band. It really seemed that she was born to sing with them.
She navigated the fast-tripping Trice Happy Lovers with complete freedom, her voice sounding rather like Emma Kirkby (who performed with AAM in former days), but lighter and more agile. When I Have Often Heard possessed a delightful folksong freshness, and The Plaint an aching beauty with eloquent entwining oboe solos from Frank de Bruine. If their Purcell was about as good as one could imagine, so was their Handel.
First, a brief detour by way of Thomas Arne’s Overture No. 6 showed that not all collapsed in English music with the death of Purcell in 1695, but apart from him the story mostly belongs to Handel.
Again the academy and Macliver were on a crest of their own in selections from his operas and oratorios. Highlights were the “Ah! spietato” from Amadigi di Gaula with oboe obbligato, andLet the Bright Seraphim from Samson, with dazzling solo trumpet contributions from David Blackadder.
This article originally appeared in The Australian on November 11 2013 12:00AM at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/affectionately-yours-egarr-keeps-academys-ancient-history-alive/story-e6frg8n6-1226756826169#sthash.m6Wq1Bo6.xBDZQT3z.dpuf
Reviewed by Peter McCallum
Academy of Ancient Music & Sara Macliver, City Recital Hall, November 9
The original Academy of Ancient Music flourished in London from about 1726 to 1796, specialising in the music of a previous age before being tempted into the then contemporary delights of Handel and luminaries of the cosmopolitan Baroque.
In 1973 Christopher Hogwood aptly appropriated the name for an original-instrument orchestra dedicated to playing music from the time of its earlier namesake. The rest, as they, is history.
Harpsichordist Richard Egarr, the academy’s current director, brings outstanding and serene musicianship to their music making that shows that the historical lessons of Hogwood’s generation have been absorbed and sublimated and overzealous historicism has been resisted.
This program, featuring the pristine transparency of Sara Macliver’s singing, returned to the academy’s heartland, the clarity and comeliness of the English Baroque.
And what a glorious mastery over these sometimes-troublesome instruments the musicians display!
The Plaint, from an extended suit of music from Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, follows the model of tragic lament for female voice over a repeated bass found most famously in the same composer’s Dido and Aeneas.
Macliver’s interrupted phrases had haunting beauty as she touched the echoing, most resonant notes of her range, the sense of desolation almost over-basted. Baroque oboist Frank de Bruine added stylised lamenting sighs with a light woody sound of delicate glow and the whole blended together in a memorable texture of translucent expressiveness.
Similarly, trumpeter David Blackadder captured both the clarion and the quiet moments in Handel’s Let the Bright Seraphim and in a softer encore, his sound and Macliver’s flashed with warmth like sunlight on metal.
A suite from Matthew Locke’s music for The Tempest revealed a composer enraptured by both chromatic adventure and contrapuntal intricacy, while Thomas Arne’s Overture No. 6 in B flat suggested a composer of sprightly mind, alert to emerging Rococo fashions.
Above all, the concert brought the wit and quickness of thought of the English Baroque to life with natural energy and vivid colour.
This article originally appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on November 10, 2013 – 1:14PM at;
Musica Viva’s first Artistic Director was Richard Goldner, whose main focus was as the driving force behind the Muscia Viva Players (as a quartet and then as quintet) with which the organisation began in 1945, and based its activities on until the early 1950’s.
After a brief recess, Musica Viva Australia emerged as a concert presenter of international and Australian musicians, none of whom were engaged permanently by Musica Viva Australia.
Artistic direction was achieved by a combination of General Managers – Donald MacDonald, Kim Williams, Phillip Henry – and committees – led by Charles Berg, Ken Tribe and local presidents, all of whom had a large say in the selection of artists and repertoire.
The separation into General Manager and Artistic Director began in the early 1990’s. There was a period of about 8 years when the role moved around, partly led by in house staff including Christopher Lawrence and Phillip Sametz, and partly with the external artistic direction of William “Bill” Lyne.
This changed in 1999 when we entered negotiations to merge with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Out of those negotiations, Musica Viva Australia emerged revitalised in its purpose, and looking for a similarly focused Artistic Director.
Enter Carl Vine – long renowned for his skills as a performer, especially of contemporary repertoire (Flederman, etc) and as a composer (Piano Sonata No. 1, Sonata for Piano Four Hands, and many, many more).
It’s been a series of amazing changes and rebirths since then, and at the end of a successful 2013 International Concerts Season, Musica Viva Festival, and on the eve of Huntington Estate Music Festival, it is something for which we can all be grateful!
Happy Anniversary Carl.
- Mary Jo Capps
This post has been adapted from a staff email Mary Jo Capps sent to the staff of the organisation and is not a comprehensive history of Musica Viva.
Carey Beebe, Australia’s best known harpsichord maker and technician, has been supplying and servicing the harpsichords used by Richard Egarr of Academy of Ancient Music. Watch him discuss the 1773 Kirkman harpsichord he has restored especially for Richard Egarr.
Academy of Ancient Music & Sara Macliver are currently touring Australia for Music Viva. For more information, and to book your tickets, please visit; musicaviva.com.au/aam