Sunday, August 14, 2016

Musical loong weekend!

Bangalow Music Festival

What an amazing music-filled few days I've just had at the Bangalow Music Festival! Didn't make it to all 9 concerts - but I think I made it to 7! Plus the pre-opening one that our choir sang at (Va Pensiero and the Hallelujah Chorus). Which was especially memorable because Teddy Tahu Rhodes, the well-known bass baritone singer who was performing at the festival, just strolled in when we were rehearsing in the hall, and joined in with the basses! (He also sang with them during the actual performance!)

Another highlight was during the morning concert yesterday, which had a presenter, and a theme based on the Olympics motto - Faster, Higher, Stronger. The presenter told the story of how the Russian composer of one of the pieces, Ysaye (I'd never heard of him) owned a Stradivarius. But one time (in the early 1900s) he left it unattended in a dressing room and of course it vanished. It resurfaced in a shop in Paris many years later, and was ultimately bought by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to be used by their principal violinist. Who is currently one Ilya Konovalov, who was performing at the Festival. And he performed a piece by the same person who once owned that same particular Stradivarius!

Hard to pick favourites! Would have to include Teddy Tahu Rhodes singing the Vaughn Williams Songs of Travel song cycle, and a Celtic song selection that we all joined in with on the choruses - eg the Skye Boat Song and Loch Lomond (my Scottish roots showing!). And a truly wonderful performance of a Schubert String Quartet (Death and the Maiden) by the Orava Quartet, that had everyone on their feet applauding ... And yes, the concert I went to this morning which comprised Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring, Barber's Adagio for Strings and a Mozart Piano Concerto (no 21 in C Major) ... More standing ovations at the end of that!!

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