The Australia Ensemble ends its 2014 season with the music of Anton Rubinstein and Franz Schubert, bringing to a close a year of exceptional performances.
The ensemble, resident at the University of New South Wales, comprises violinists Dene Olding and Dimity Hall, violist Irina Morozova, cellist Julian Smiles, flautist Geoffrey Collins, clarinetist Catherine McCorkill and pianist Ian Munro. In this concert, they are joined by guest artists David Griffiths (clarinet), Andrew Barnes (bassoon), Robert Johnson (horn) and Timo-Veikko Valve (cello)
Schubert’s String Quintet in C D956 was written towards the very end of his life, and expresses a profound depth of feeling that goes beyond ordinary notions of pleasure and enlightenment. He communicates a sense of wonderment as he contemplates moments of anguish. His music has passages of noble resolve and nagging concern; it dances whilst attaining a prayerful beauty.
The sole companion work for the Schubert String Quintet is another chamber work of substantial length, the Quintet in F opus 55 by Anton Rubinstein. Scored for piano, flute, clarinet, horn and bassoon, the string quintet is balanced by this counterpart for mixed instruments, affirming the Australia Ensemble’s abiding interests in keyboard and woodwind instruments.
Anton Rubinstein, whose life began the year after Schubert’s ended, may well be a surprising inclusion in the programme as his reputation as a pianist perhaps unfairly exceeded his profile as a composer. Rubinstein was a fine musician, who achieved the highest distinction as a pianist and as a transforming influence in Russian musical education. The pairing of his quintet with Schubert’s incomparable quintet is not intended pit one against the other. Instead, it presents a different perspective on the genre and is an apt and entertaining companion, enlivened by a justly celebrated keyboard virtuosity, not competing with Schubert, but complementing him.
Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894): Quintet for piano, flute, clarinet, horn and bassoon in F Opus 55 (c1855, rev. 1860)
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828): String Quintet in C D956 (1828)
Tickets: $47/$34/$26/$17 (student rush)
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