Ruth Leon recommends… Bach’s World – Melbourne Chamber OrchestraRuth Leon recommends
Bach’s World – Melbourne Chamber Orchestra
May 5, 2022, 7PM (AEST) and for 72 hours following the livestream.
Digital Ticket: $24.00 AUD ($20 AUD direct to the musicians) plus $4 for credit card fees
Although he never left Germany, Johan Sebastian Bach was able to immerse himself in a rich musical world. He consumed the compositions of his time voraciously and corresponded with many of the leading musical figures of Europe.
This concert from Australia is packed with music by composers Bach admired: Telemann, the godfather of CPE Bach; Zelenka, the esteemed Czech composer, and the other towering great of the era, Handel. We also rediscover the Baroque-inspired Concerto for string orchestra of Victorian composer Margaret Sutherland.
MSO Concertmaster Sophie Rowell joins MCO as guest director and soloist and plays Bach’s Violin Concerto No 1 in A minor BWV1041 amongst other gems.
All digital tickets come with 72-hour viewing starting from the morning after the concert. Go to your My Tickets folder in the top menu to watch the recording.
I hate to pick nits but Margaret Sutherland is not a “Victorian composer.” OK, Victoria had, what, 3 years to live when Sutherland was born, but Sutherland died in 1984! She was a pupil of Bax and in her “Haunted Hills” for orchestra, sounds well within the Bax/Finzi/Vaughn Williams tradition. If you can find the Melbourne Symphony recording of Haunted Hills (Festival Records, an LP) it is a piece well worth hearing. I’m going out on a limb here but a case can be made that Australia is one country whose finest composer is a woman.
Here is the 1st mvt of the mentioned Concerto for String Orchestra and indeed it is very good music, neoclassical with a romantic touch:
And here is her symphonic poem ‘Haunted Hills’:
Either this recording is of a strikingly bad interpretation, or it is very dull and lame music.
It’s ‘Victorian’ as in from/of the Australian state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital. Margaret Sutherland was born in Adelaide (capital of South Australia) although her family moved back to Melbourne when she was 6, so in essence she was a ‘Victorian’.