Inaugural Performance 20th May reviewed by BILL STEPHENS.
The opening of a new concert venue is always reason to celebrate. In this case the new venue is a $20,000,000 state-of-the- art 900 seat concert hall situated in the grounds of Canberra Grammar School.
|Interior of the Snow Concert Hall - Canberra
the school by Canberra Grammar old boy, businessman and philanthropist, Terry
Snow, The Snow Concert Hall will offer its own International concert series of
which this concert, featuring Australian-Argentine flute virtuoso, Ana de la
Vega and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra is the first.
De la Vega
is one of the most sought after flautists of her generation having performed as
soloist in the most prestigious concert halls around the world with many of the
world’s leading orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague
Symphony Orchestra, German Chamber Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra and the
Cologne Chamber Orchestra just to name a few.
recordings of Mozart and Myslivecek flute concertos with the English Chamber
Orchestra, and her most recent album (her fourth), “My Paris”, have both
reached No. 1 on the Amazon Best Seller charts.
to fronting the first concert presented in the new hall, De la Vega has also
been appointed Artistic Director of the Snow Concert Hall and has already
announced the next three concerts in her International series.
concerts will feature pianist, Piers Lane, Wynton Marsalis with the Lincoln
Centre Jazz Orchestra, and violinist, Daniel Rohn together with pianist Simon
both the Snow Concert Hall and herself to Canberra audiences, de la Vega chose
a carefully selected program of familiar, together with some less familiar,
orchestral music, including two flute concerti, which allowed her to demonstrate
the superb acoustic of the hall.
|Melbourne Chamber Orchestra in the Snow Concert Hall
commenced with a joyous rendition by the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra of Mozart’s,
“Eine kleine Nachtmusik”. Superbly phrased and balanced with fastidious attention
to every musical detail, the performance immediately dispelled any doubts about
the quality of the hall’s acoustic, allowing the audience to delight in Mozart’s
was followed by Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Op 11. This hauntingly beautiful
work with its richly expressive harmonies, slow meditative tempo and sonorous
passages featuring the violas and cellos, is often described as a musical
qualities were beautifully delineated by the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra,
providing a thoughtful contrast to the buoyant Mozart and the perfect entre to
the Vivaldi flute concerto following.
Flute concerto in F Major, subtitled “La tempest di mare” (The Storm at Sea)
was a thrilling introductions to Ana de la Vega virtuosity. Vivaldi’s musical
impression of the tumultuous character of a storm at sea with its driving runs
and decorative trills for the flute pushes the technical boundaries of both the
instrument and the orchestra.
De la Vega’s
performance, together with that of the orchestra, was as thrilling as it was
|Ana de la Vega in the Snow Concert Hall
After a short interval, the orchestra continued the concert with a lustrous performance of Elgar’s richly romantic “Serenade for String Orchestra in E Minor, Op 20. This work, which Elgar wrote as a celebration of the third anniversary of his marriage to his wife, Alice, is notable for its swooning introduction and a luminous violin solo which on this occasion was brilliantly performed by Sophie Rowell.
|Sophie Rowell with the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra.
of the evening was Carl Stamitz’s “Flute Concerto in D Minor”. This concerto is
rarely performed because of the considerable technical demands it places on the
soloist and orchestra.
demands are immediately on show in the high voltage opening movement, and
particularly in two unaccompanied sections in which the orchestra stops while
the soloist performs a series of technical acrobatics, the concerto is surprisingly
tuneful and approachable for the listener.
dazzlingly clear sound with her flute, De la Vegas seemed unfazed by the technicalities,
tossing off virtuoso runs and rich decorations with unfailing flair and
accuracy, often drawing spontaneous applause from the audience.
|Ana de la Vega and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra.
the tumultuous audience response to the concert, De la Vegas spoke briefly of
her ambitions for the Snow Concert Hall, before offering a charming encore, a
superb rendition, with orchestra, of Massenet’s “Meditation” from his opera “Thais”.
All images of the concert by Peter Hislop
Image of the interior of the Snow Concert Hall supplied.