The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra has revealed its line up for 2015 – a six programme series that sweeps the baroque and early classical repertoire and which includes music by Handel, Vivaldi, the Bachs and Mozart, performed by soloists from Australia and overseas.
Moving on from its 25th year in 2014, Artistic Director of the ABO, Paul Dyer AO, is bringing back in September 2015, dazzling fortepianist and guest director Kristian Bezuidenhout for his third tour with the orchestra, in a programme of Mozart, WF and JC Bach, with period flautist Melissa Farrow. The South African born keyboard player who began his music studies in Australia comments: “The beautiful fortepiano that Detmar Hungerberg made for the Brandenburg is truly one of the most responsive instruments I’ve had the pleasure of playing. It is one of those rare pianos – in this case a copy of a five-octave Viennese instrument from 1800 much like the one Mozart would have known.”
Baroque violinist Riccardo Minasi returns in October to perform a selection of ‘recently discovered gems from the city of Naples’. Although the names of these composers – de Majo, Ragazzi, Leo, Sarro, Jommelli and Fiorenza – are not widely known, Dyer says “It has always been such a pleasure for me to introduce Australian audiences to music that they’ve never heard before, these great undiscovered gems of the baroque. I was thrilled when Riccardo proposed this music that very few people have heard in performance for centuries.”
True to tradition, in December, the orchestra joins forced with the Brandenburg Choir for its annual presentation of NOËL! NOËL! featuring Gregorian chant, medieval carols, French and German hymns, English Christmas songs and other favourites.
The Brandenburg Choir features at the beginning of the year as well with the opening tour in February/March centred on the music of Handel with Argentinian soprano Mariana Florès and Portuguese tenor Fernando Guimarães in their Australian debuts.
And there are surprises too – Vivaldi Unwired in May, sees Max Richter’s popular Recomposed – Vivaldi: The Four Seasons with baroque violinist Brendan Joyce with Paul Dyer taking to the synthesiser – a period instrument of a different kind! The same series features saxophone virtuoso Christina Leonard performing a concerto by CPE Bach arranged by her for saxophone.
In July/August, the French Baroque programme of music by Rameau and Lully sees the ABO join forces with French soprano Claire Lefilliâtre and Brisbane based circus ensemble C!rca, described as a ‘death-defying collaboration…an immersive, operatic scale performance exploring the eternal tensions between heaven and earth, the sacred and profane, night and day.” There has even been mention of a tightrope and a tightrope walker high above the auditorium!
The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra continues its fine tradition, “bring(ing) to life the original colours of baroque and classical masterpieces from centuries ago, with the beautiful sound of instruments of the period.”