A little lunch music

August 4, 2022 by Alan Slade
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The aptly named “A little lunch music” is a series of six musical experiences curated by Kathy Selby and Sydney’s City Recital Hall.

Andrew Haveron

They are, not surprisingly,  performed at lunchtime,  starting at 12:30 for one hour.

Third in the series was Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” sonata, featuring Andrew Haveron and Kathryn Selby.

Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47 in A major, by Ludwig van Beethoven, is an 1803 sonata for piano and violin notable for its technical difficulty and unusual symphony-type length. The 40-minute piece was preceded by Kathy and Andrew giving a brief history of the music and its mis-nomenclature.

Andrew told us that Beethoven wrote the challenging work for George Bridgetower, the premier German violinist of the day, to whom Beethoven dedicated the work “Sonata mulattica composta per il mulatto” – totally unacceptable in today’s environment. Following their falling out, Beethoven renamed the work for the star French violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer, who, surprisingly, never played it. Andrew Haveron, the lead violinist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, gave his 1757 Guadagnini instrument a punishing workout in the fast and furious first movement, with him and Kathy, on the Steinway piano, throwing melodies to each other between seemingly competitive and cooperative passages.

Kathy Selby

Despite the exciting pace, both players maintained unison, giving the audience a thrilling experience. The second movement, which Andrew aptly described in his introduction as “pretty”, was beautifully played, with the melodious theme and variations seamlessly embraced by piano and violin tossing and occasionally sharing the lead.

The presto final movement was again exciting, with the sudden fortissimos superbly united and soft passages passionately embraced. At the conclusion, following the enthusiastic audience appreciation, the performers took questions from the audience, giving us more background and understanding of this unique and innovative sonata, the first to give equality to both instruments. Andrew and Kathy did acknowledge that the piano had a loudness advantage.

Next in the series is on Wednesday, September 7, when four Australian artists from around the world will come together to explore the piano quartet genre. For more information and tickets:



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