Musica Viva Festival reviews

We’re thrilled with the responses we’ve been getting about the 2013 Musica Viva Festival. Here’s just a sample.

Benjamin Beilman

Benjamin Beilman

“The first half definitely came to a head though with a remarkable Australian debut from 23-year-old violinist Benjamin Beilman in Brahms’ most reflective sonata, No 3 in D Minor. Masterfully accompanied by Ian Munro, Beilman gave a passionate, romantic account using a tonal palette of which many an older player would be envious. His highly effective use of a low vibrato piano in the first movement was haunting and the slow movement with its almost (Richard) Straussian whiff of Viennese nostalgia was rapturous. After a suitably spectral third movement he pulled out all the stops to give us a blazing, demonic reading of the finale.”
Limelight Magazine
Read the full review here.

“The festival’s third concert was an entirely different experience. Alice in Antarctica is the result of a 2011 journey to the ice-bound continent by Australian harpist Alice Giles. Her grandfather, Cecil Madigan, was part of Mawson’s 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic Exploration. Reading his unpublished diaries fired Giles’s desire to follow in his footsteps.
“Alice in Antarctica proved to be a compelling mix of live and recorded music, spoken extracts from Madigan’s diary, photos and video footage. The narrative arc was episodic rather than linear, providing a poignant insight into Madigan’s complex reactions to his Antarctic experience.
“Giles’s clever combination of traditional and contemporary music and stunning imagery conveyed both the extraordinary bravery of Mawson’s expedition and the sense of haunting mystery Antarctica embodies. Stimulating, moving and inspiring, this was an impressive creation.”
The Australian
Read the full review here.

Pieter Wispelwey

Pieter Wispelwey

“Given the justified celebrity of Lambert Orkis and Pieter Wispelwey, and the outstanding talent that Benjamin Beilman showed, it is no wonder that this performance [of Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D minor] was greeted by a standing ovation from the majority in the Verbrugghen Hall.”
Bachtrack
Read the full review here.

“Hector McDonald played Mozart’s Horn Quintet in E flat, K. 407 with the Goldner String Quartet with a rich sound and maturely finished phrases. Flautist Sharon Bezaly and pianist Tamara Anna Cislowska gave Prokofiev’s Flute Sonata in D major, opus 94 a finely chiselled performance of brilliant brittleness while the Pacifica Quartet, of the US, showed precision, warm balance and expressive intensity in Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 2 in A major, opus 68.”
Sydney Morning Herald
Read the full review here.

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About Musica Viva Australia

Welcome to Musica Viva’s International Concert Season blog. Here you can follow and read more about our wonderful touring artists.

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