Let me just say up front that my review, is a non-technical review and it’s all about my experience on the night. It is my happy duty to tell you about last nights’ performance by Flinders Quartet at the Utzon Room at Sydney’s SOH.
I dragged myself out of my sickbed for this concert – because I did NOT want to miss another Flinders’ performance! Quite simply, I KNOW it’s going to be a few hours where I’m transported out of my life into a realm of vibrating strings, and I do love strings, particularly from this Quartet. I attended my first classikON performance in 2011, which was Fandango (with Karin Schaupp) – and I’ve been a fairly regular fan since.
In preparation for any concert (music, theatre) I make a point of NOT researching or reading reviews. In the run-up to a night out I’m usually just honouring a date/time/venue entry in my calendar and unprepared for whatever performances, so I’ve learned to just arrive, ease in with a beverage, be seated and experience the performance in the moment and for what it is. We were seated only minutes before the start, so I scanned the program only.
The evening’s program, Folk Memories, was introduced by Zoe Knighton, who welcomed to the stage composer Elena Kats-Chernin to introduce about this world premiere performance of Joyce’s Mob which was commissioned by Joyce Evans.
The gift for me was in the personal introduction by both Elena and Joyce. Hearing from them about the purpose and process of creating the four movements as representation of Joyce and her family was so moving and all the preparation I needed.
As I listened (intently) to Zoe Knighton (cello), Helen Ireland (viola), Helen Ayres (violin) and Shaun Lee-Chen’s (guest violin) performance and delivery of this truly beautiful and intimate work, I found myself listening for those personalities. The celebration and joy for Joyce’s, the masculine cello grove for Brad, and particularly the adventurous and itchy feet of Deborah in this music which was infused with those folk notions that are a celebration of their Polish heritage.
I loved the detail. It was SO rich – and INTERESTING!
I don’t want to gloss over the rest of the program because it was so much fun and I’m partial to gypsy and folk melodies. The lilt, dance and celebration of those uplifting tones just get right into my bones. Bela Bartok’s Rumanian Folk Dances were just fun, honest and celebratory and certainly Beethoven’s String Quartet No 7 in F major, Op.59, No.1 ” Razumovsky” were just a joy.
And Flinders Quartet, are a joy to watch as well as listen to! Throughout this performance I was studying eyebrows, faces and responses. Delivered was intense enjoyment, emotion of play and creation which is hard to fake. It was a pleasure to watch synergies and communication between the members of this version of the group.
So, a lovely night for me and I did skip a little on the way back to the Quay for my bus.