Wednesday, November 21, 2018


Musica Da Camera String Orchestra
Holy Covenant Anglican Church, Cook 17 November

Reviewed by Len Power

Musica Da Camera String Orchestra’s concert was an easy-going and enjoyable mix of classic favourites that would be well-known to most music lovers.

Musical director, Gillian Bailey-Graham, gave brief but informative notes about each work before the orchestra played them.  Five violin soloists joined the orchestra for particular works.

The program commenced with a nicely played Concerto for Four Violins in B minor by Vivaldi.  Rosemary Macphail, Jocelyn James, John Dobson and Heng Lin Yeap played their solos with skill and warmth and the final movement was especially well-played.

Two pieces by Elgar followed – Salut d’Amor and Chanson de Matin.  The orchestra gave the first work a lush, romantic sound and the second work was notable for the emotional depth in the sound produced by the orchestra.

13 year old Chantelle Bennett joined the orchestra as soloist for Massenet’s ‘Meditation’.  As this is such a well-known work, the pressure is on any soloist to meet the expectations of an audience.  Bennett played with great beauty and precision, making this one of the highlights of the program.

Other short works by Sibelius, Delibes and Dvořák were played very well and another highlight of the concert was Corelli’s ‘Christmas Concerto’.  The orchestra gave a crisp, very atmospheric performance of this work that was most enjoyable.
Rosemary Mcphail played the solo violin for ‘Czardas’ by Monti with great feeling, bringing out the raw passion in this work and the concert concluded with the audience favourite, ‘The Radetsky March’ by Johann Strauss.

This was another very pleasant concert by Musica Da Camera.  The works presented might be familiar from recordings and the radio, but hearing them played live added another dimension, especially as the orchestra played them very well and with such obvious pleasure.

This review was first published in the Canberra City News digital edition of 18 November 2018.

Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast in his ‘On Stage’ performing arts radio program on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3.30pm on Artsound FM 92.7.