Although the weather outside was dark, cold and gloomy, it was definitely not reflected in the music being played by the Flinders Quartet in the Utzon Room of the Opera House. As I have come to expect the performance was excellent. The Quartet has a way of making a difficult piece of music appear effortless. The first half of the concert we saw the talented Cameron Hill shine as the guest violinist.
“Shall We Dance” was a perfect title for the evening, as soon as the music began you could clearly visualise waltzing around a grand ballroom.
The first piece, The Tango Ballet by Astor Piazzolla, which was an interesting fusion of classical “swan lake” ballet and the tango where a women is holding a rose between her teeth.
Also during the first half was Alexander Borodin’s String Quartet No. 2 in D minor, an uplifting and romantic piece that for some inexplicable reason makes you smile. During each movement you are able to hear the influence Beethoven had on the composer, while at the same time Borodin finds a way to make the work original.
As much as the first half of the evening impressed me, the introduction of the phenomenal Claire Edwardes took the music to another level. Not only does Claire have an amazing stage presence, she is extremely talented.
My favourite piece of the night was The Romeo and Juliet Suites by Sergi Prokofiev, arranged for percussion and string quartet by Jessica Wells. Having recently seen the Sydney Theatre production of Romeo and Juliet, I was very familiar with the story and readily had visuals while I heard the music. To be able to hear music interpret the famous work was fascinating. I was able to follow the young couple as they met, fell in love and eventually met their tragic deaths.
Jessica Wells did not give the musicians and easy task. Watching Edwardes hold 4 mallets as well as playing the triangle and using her feet to hit a drum was truly impressive. One can only imagine how many beers she could hold in a pub without using a tray.
Overall the performance was mesmerising and made me forget about the terrible weather that awaited me at the end of the night.