Q U E E N S L A N D Y O U T H O R C H E S T R A
Rite of Spring
Respighi Ancient Airs & Dances Suite No 3
Schumann Cello Concerto in A minor (Soloist - Dan Curro)
Stravinsky The Rite of Spring
QPAC CONCERT HALL
Saturday 20 August 2011
This was the final concert in the Queensland Youth Symphony’s 2011 concert season and what a great concert it was.
It started with a work for strings - Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No 3. This gave the QYS string section a chance to shine and they didn’t disappoint. Respighi’s music is always colorful and the Suite No 3 is no exception. It also requires great virtuosity from the players and the musicians of the QYS were up to the task under John Curro’s direction.
The concerto on the program was the Schumann Cello Concerto in A minor with soloist, Dan Curro. It is not a particularly showy piece - that was not Schumann’s intention - but it is, nevertheless, an important work in the cello repertoire. Dan is not a showy player - he doesn’t have to be. His skill was very evident in this major concerto - the performance came across as a very personal dialogue with the instrument. He acknowledged the excellent work of the orchestra accompanying him for the concerto in which, at times, the solo line integrates with the orchestra.
The second half of the program was The Rite of Spring - Stravinsky’s masterpiece premiered in 1913 but sounding as startling and powerful as if it was written today. That premiere in 1913 was the scene of a riot but, a year later, the score was presented in concert to great critical acclaim. The Queensland Youth Symphony, augmented with almost 30 extra players, gave us a raw, savage and thrilling performance. All sections of the orchestra acquitted themselves very well - especially the brass. John Curro controlled his forces with great precision giving us tremendous climaxes expertly executed. This was one of those performances when you wanted the music to keep going - I could have happily sat through the work again straight away, such was the sheer excitement created by these wonderful musicians.
A concert that again showed us what an asset the Queensland Youth Symphony is, not only to this State but to this nation.