BWW REVIEW: Australian Brandenburg Orchestra's SATO & THE ROMANTICS Is A Fantastic Night Of Breathtaking Music
Friday 9th September, 7pm, City Recital Hall, Sydney
Guest violinist Shunske Sato stuns audiences with his expressive and incredible interpretation of three 19th Century works with the support of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra in SATO & THE ROMANTICS. Artistic Director and Conductor, Paul Dyer's program explores the depth and breadth of the Romantic period with his selection of three unique works to showcase Sato talents.
The enigmatic Paul Dyer provides a heartfelt introduction for the Japanese born Shunske Sato who grew up in New York City and trained at Juilliard School, Curtis Institute and a number of other prestigious institutions. As standard for Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (ABO) concerts Dyer shares his passion for the work that is about to be performed as he highlights the history and the complexity of the work. As indicated in the title, this concert is looking at a more 'modern' era than ABO's usual repertoire as it moves from the Baroque into the Romantic period. With the access to the Sato's amazing skill, the concert also includes Paganini's Violin Concerto No.4 in D minor, a work that is rarely played on period instruments due to its complexity.
The first half of the performance is presented by the strings of the ABO, led by Sato. Dyer has selected Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's String Symphony No. 3 in E Minor and Edvard Grieg's Holberg Suite, OP. 40 for this component of the performance, contrasting the work of the young Mendelssohn, composed when he was 12 years old, and the darker more serious Grieg. Sato and the orchestra express the frenzied sweetness in chaos of Mendelssohn's String Symphony with a fabulous deep rumbling of the larger instruments sitting beneath the violins. This energy is contrasted with Grieg's Holberg Suite's that expresses a darker, pensive, often mournful tone in amongst the rollercoaster of moments of militaristic formality and light gentle tenderness, restraint and boldness, and sweeping phrases and sprightly statements.
It is however in the second part of the show, with the addition of the woodwinds, brass and percussion, under the direction of the exuberant Dyer, which really is awe inspiring. Paganini has been described as the 'rock star' of his age and whilst Sato does not try his stunt of playing a work on a sole string, he does exude a captivating energy and expression that has the audience wanting more (to the point the gentleman seated next to the reviewer had come back for a second night). Whilst Dyer is always entrancing to watch him passionately coax the music out of the orchestra, the addition of Sato to the stage does make it hard to decide where to look as Sato's fingers fly across the fingerboard, creating amazing sounds filled with texture and emotion. A glance at the orchestra during Sato's solos show the admiration the ensemble have for the extraordinarily talented young man and the thunderous applause urged Sato to treat the audience with an extra solo.
Yet again, Dyer has created another Must See program for the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. SATO & THE ROMANTICS is a wonderful opportunity to see the internationally acclaimed Shunske Sato whilst getting to hear works presented on the instruments they were originally written for.
City Recital Hall
Wednesday 7 September, 7pm
Friday 9 September 7pm
Wednesday 14 September 7pm
Friday 16 September 7pm
Saturday 17 September 7pm
Matinee: Saturday 17 September 2pm
Melbourne Recital Centre
Saturday 10 September 7pm
Sunday 11 September 5pm