Fremantle Chamber Orchestra

ADVERTISEMENT: Fremantle Chamber Orchestra Concert Notes for  June 6-7, 2015

Concert Notes by Peter Conole

6.6.15 emily

As the founder and helmsman of the FCO, Hans Hug makes a point of giving concert goers an unusual gift or two every year. He and his strong support team schedule works seldom performed in this country, notably from the great years of the Romantic Era of the 19th Century. For the June 2015 concert they have come up with another remarkable ‘first time in Australia’ performance, but of that more a little later.

The concert opens with Franz Schubert’s orchestral overture ‘In the Italían Style’. The work was first performed in Vienna during November, 1817. It is rightly regarded as a response to the Rossini craze then sweeping through Europe. Schubert really did the most popular opera composer of his day proud in this clever, imitative work. It is a sunny, happy piece with several typical Rossini touches – a tentative opening, a perky allegro and a boisterous crescendo finale.

Violin Masterpiece

The Schubert overture is a nice way of welcoming WA’s fine violinist 17 year old Emily Leung in a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s immortal Violin Concerto in E Minor, a work hailed as a masterpiece from day one, which was March 13, 1845 at Leipzig in the Kingdom of Saxony. One reviewer claimed it “was the finest composition for this instrument since Beethoven”. The performer on that memorable first night was Ferdinand David, the greatest violinist since Paganini, and he too agreed that the concerto was a milestone in music.

It is perhaps too well-known to justify extensive comments, but it is worth stressing just how innovative the concerto was. There is no orchestral exposition – the soloist enters from the start. The flow of melodic development is continual and ‘uber-attractive’, though the symphonic involvement of the orchestra with the soloist was advanced for the time. The concerto is not just a vehicle for virtuoso display. As David the soloist wrote to the composer:”violinists cannot be sufficiently grateful to you for this gift”.

The Australian Premiere

The final item of the concert will be a fine surprise for audiences. Louise Farrenc  (1804-1875) was arguably the most accomplished and respected woman composer of her century. Over fifty of her works were published and she enjoyed easy access to professional institutions and concert hall. In 1842, at the early age of 38, she was appointed professor of piano at the Paris Conservatory.

Farrenc’s Symphony in C Minor – the first of three – was composed in 1841 and premiered in Brussels during March, 1845. As the boss of the local conservatory stated: ”this symphony is a highly remarkable work and it is only right and fitting to direct the public attention to its composer”.

The symphony is in the usual four movements. Farrenc begins with a tentative andante (slow) start and then plays games with some conventions, such as linking two themes rather than making them contrasting or opposing. The third movement (a minuet) seems to be a deliberate throwback to earlier times, and makes for an interesting contrast with the stormy and intense pace of the concluding fourth. Concert folk will probably be pleased to know that quite a few of Farrenc’s  compositions have been recorded.

Saturday 6 June 3pm
Wesley Church, Perth City cnr William & Hay St
Sunday 7 June 3pm
Fremantle Town Hall
Tickets available at the door from 2pm (cash only)
For further details call 9335 6980 or 0438 933 250

Proudly supported by the Perth Voice

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s