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Program Reviews by Valerie

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Peninsula Music Club



Before a concert there’s always a buzz – a frisson of excitement. On stage the flautist Jane Rutter, vivacious and quick-moving with her acclaimed pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska, rehearse a slow and beautiful movement that I do not recognise. One thing is certain – tonight all the music will be French. A large screen at the back of the stage suddenly springs into life with one of Monet’s paintings and in a flash, it disappears. The cellist – David Pereira, a serious looking man now on stage sways as he plays a gentle and recognisable piece with sublime sensitivity. Looking at him I feel he could only be a cellist. Chrisopher
Latham, the Director and a violinist of repute is organising the seating on stage.

It is 7.30pm and the hall is almost full. Lively chatter from the warmly-clad audience, drawn to this enticing evening of French music and Monet paintings. The stylish programme is titled “Monet: The Flowers of War. The Last Shining of the Belle Epoque” features one of his paintings on the cover. ***

The concert is over. The performance lasted seventy minutes without pause and I noticed everyone was totally entranced both by the music and the ever-changing Monet masterpieces as visual projections of his garden at Giverny merged and dissolved to display yet another glorious scene on the wide screen. The music of Debussy, Ravel, Lily Boulanger, Philippe Gaubert and Jean Cras accompanied seven short segments featuring Monet’s garden, each piece chosen with care and played to perfection by the soloists. 

It has been a magical, memorable evening of dazzling music and virtuosic playing by the musicians who bow and acknowledge the roar of approval by the audience. The musicians are Jane Rutter, flute, Tamara-Anna Cislowska, piano, David Pereira, cello and Christopher Latham, violin. The clapping goes on for a long time; some of it is for Monet I am sure. Champagne and a delicious assortment of sandwiches are handed round after the guests have taken their chairs to the back of the hall that resounds with their lively exchanges until late.*

The next concert is a matinee at 2.30pm on 23rd July. The Russian pianist, Andrey Gugnin won first prize in the Sydney International Piano Competition in 2016 and will perform works by Bach, Schubert, Shostakovich, Desyatnikov and Kieran-Harvey. The venue for all the Peninsula Music Club concerts is the Hall at St. Luke’s Grammar School on the Bayview Campus. 

NB The final tally of tonight’s audience is 260 - a milestone

Valerie copyright May 2017 Sydney

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