Contemporary chamber group, the Hourglass Ensemble presents two concerts: Starry, Starry Night featuring lullabies, nocturnes and songs for sleep and Everything I Touch, a beguiling blend of new Australian commissions and beloved masterpieces.
Artistic Director of The Hourglass Ensemble Andrew Kennedy is passionate about making the chamber concert accessible to both newcomers to classical music and longer-standing fans.
“During the concert, I will explain the context, meaning, narrative and history of the composition, the difficult parts, the symbolism, and the interesting techniques,” says Kennedy. “We ensure that things the players know implicitly are made explicit to the listener. And, of course, we pick music we love and play with our friends, so the audience really notices how we play with passion, togetherness, and fun.”
The repertoire for the two concerts spans Brahms to Kats-Chenin with four world premieres including ‘Everything I Touch – Concerto for flute and chamber orchestra’ by Margery Smith, inspired by the sparse and concise poetry of Kobayashi Issa and Susan Sleepwriter.
Formed in 2015 by Artistic Director Andrew Kennedy, the ensemble aims to present the best music with the best performers to an audience of chamber music lovers and those new to the form. Their expertise is in blending new and unusual combinations of woodwind, with strings, voice, percussion, piano, actors and designers to explore the different sounds made possible by these groupings. They commission, premiere and record Australian composers to export their works from their homeland to the world. The ensemble’s informal approach makes the concert experience less abstract and gives the uninitiated listener a simple guide to accessing the art music world.
Starry, Starry Night 7.30pm Saturday 27 April, Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House
The program: BRAHMS Sonata No. 1 for clarinet and piano/ SCHUBERT Nacht und Träume/SCHUMANN Mondnacht/HOLLAND Nocturne for solo piano/RODNEY-BENNETT Songs Before Sleep/GRANDAGE Two nocturnes for baritone, clarinet, and piano/ANDREW KENNEDY New work for baritone, clarinet, and piano World premiere
The performers: The performers: Andrew Kennedy Clarinet & Artistic Director /Andrew O’Connor* Baritone /Anna Rutkowska-Schock Piano *Andrew O’Connor appears courtesy of the Song Company
Everything I Touch 2.30pm Sunday 28 April, St Columba Church, Woollahra/7.30pm Saturday 4 May, Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House
The program: BRAHMS Sonata No. 1 for clarinet and piano/ KATS-CHERNIN Russian Rag for saxophone and string quartet/SMITH Everything I Touch Concerto for flute and chamber orchestra World premiere/BALL Clockwork Ghost for bass clarinet, viola, cello and prepared piano/MULLER Terra Anima for clarinet, viola and vibraphone World premiere/KENNEDY Serenade for flute, clarinet, saxophone and horn World premiere
The performers: Ewa Kowalski Flute/ David Banney Conductor / Andrew Kennedy Clarinets & Artistic Director Nicholas Russionello Saxophones/ Tomas Talmacs Violin/ Julia Russionello Violin /Tara Hashambhoy Viola/ Caroline Hobbs Cello/ Serena Lim Double Bass/ Timothy Brigden Percussion /Anna Rutkowska-Schock Piano/ Christopher Perrin Trumpet/ Rafael Salgado French Horn
Tickets: Sydney Opera House Adult $58, Concession $40, Children under 13 $20
St Columba Church Adult $30, Concession $20, Children under 13 Free