A Little Lunch Music: a music review by Alan Slade

July 7, 2022 by Alan Slade
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“A Little Lunch Music” is a series of 6 concerts in Sydney’s iconic Recital Hall, whose interior is modelled on Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and which is acknowledged to have among the best acoustics in the world.

Each concert, not surprisingly, is at lunchtime, 12:30 to 1:3o.

Last Monday’s Schubert Cello Quintet was introduced by Kathy Selby, founder of the Selby & Friends chamber music specialists.

Selby & Friends is unique in that it was amongst the first in Australia to feature the artists speaking directly from the stage about their personal experiences, historical and amusing anecdotes.

The Quintet was played by the Chroma Quartet, with Ike See filling in for an ill Harry Bennetts as first violin.

Bennet Tsai was the outstanding first cellist performing with the remaining quartet; Elizabeth Woolnough on viola, who gave the introductory explanation, Eliza Sdraulig, cello and Victoria Bihun, violin.

The four-movement Quintet is generally regarded as Schubert’s finest chamber work as well as one of the greatest compositions in all chamber music. The Chroma  Quartet’s performance was well and truly worthy of the music, with their sublime second movement a highlight of this reviewer’s long concert-going experience.

As an ordinary audience member, I gathered that, in the absence of Harry Bennets, Elizabeth Woolnough led the group, while they took the timing and exquisitely executed pauses from Ike See’s swinging forelock.

Bennett Tsai, sitting nearest the audience gave a most emotional and expressive performance, with his varying facial expression and enthusiastic body movements, especially in the forte sections.

The entire performance was well and truly of international standard.

Hopefully, it was recorded, so that those who were not there can have the opportunity to enjoy this world-class recital.

Click here to access the series: https://www.cityrecitalhall.com/whats-on/packages/2022-a-little-lunch-music-package/


One Response to “A Little Lunch Music: a music review by Alan Slade”
  1. Susan Colmar says:

    This was a superb rendition of the Schubert Quintet. Timing and the contrasting very quiet and louder passages were both just perfect. The musicians were youthful and focussed, a real treat.
    Thank you.

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