Posted by: jkirkby8712 | June 3, 2011

Friday, 3rd June 2011 – a musical Friday night!

Tonight is Concert No. 2 for the year, by the Australian String Quartet [ASQ], as part of the group’s  2011 Season, to which I have my regular ticket. While in some ways on a Friday night, I’d prefer to be heading home and as early as possible, not so this day, where from work later this afternoon, I will drive into the CBD, and across the Yarra River, to find my pricey ‘little’ carpark in the Arts Centre complex. I say ‘pricey’ because while there are probably cheaper car parks in the area, the convenience and ready access to most of the concerts I attend, is I think generally superior!

Now, I have been a subscriber to the ASQ concerts since 2006, but I’ve decided that this will be my last year, will either allocate the cost to other areas, or simply may not be able to afford such ‘outings; after retirement.  By coincidence, the makeup of the ASQ, as it has been since 2006, is changing at the end of this year, with two of the girls leaving, so it is probably an appropriate to make a change myself. In mentioning that, there was a brief article in one of the papers earlier this year which commented on the change of the group –  headed ‘The Australian String Quartet may soon be Australian in name only after embarking on an international hunt for new musicians’, it made reference to the fact in searching for two new members, and despite the view that there are many fantastic musicians in Australia,  auditions for replacements would not be limited to Australians.  As cellist, Rachel Johnston argued, ‘the international standard of the quartet was more important than whether the players came from Australia’. Personally, I find that attitude a little disappointing, but MS Johnston points out that ‘It’s a matter of finding a musician who has the technical mastery and the artistic mastery that we need, and also they need to fit with the group and you can’t restrict your pool when you’re looking for that’.  Fair enough I suppose, but it almost sounds as though she has given up on finding Australian replacements for violinist, Sophie Rowell, and violist, Sally Boud before the search has started!  Meanwhile, the report noted that the addition of two new musicians will mean the quartet will soon have had 18 members since its establishment 25 years ago.  The current line-up was formed following the controversial resignation of all the players in 2006. At the time, the resignations were said to be because of the conservative musical direction being imposed by the ASQ board.  While the appointment of four attractive young females by the board was met with some cynicism from the orchestra literati, the success of the group has proven otherwise.  “We have bookings for 2013 already and other people in Europe are booking even further in advance,” the ASQ’s other remaining member, the second violinist, Anne Horton said.  The current members of the ASQ have warned the audition process would not be limited to rigorous testing of the incumbents’ musical abilities.  “We feel like, after travelling together for such a long time, we’ve become a family and it’s almost like you’re hiring someone and adopting them as your family,” Ms Boud said.  “The musical side is kind of taken for granted, but they won’t make it if they don’t have a sense of humour.  “Actually, we might audition them with jokes.”

Tonight’s program features four compositions – Schubert’s String Quartet No. 10; Dvorak’s  ‘Cypresses’; Dvorak’s String Quartet No. 12, and a world premier apparently of a composition by James Ledger [a composer  from Western Australia] which he called ‘Processions’.  It was inspired, according to the composer,  by the concept of migration and its three movements explored the emotions of optimism, uncertainty and grief.   I must keep those ideas in mind as I listen to the music tonight, and see if I am similarly inspired!!!

On a slightly different passion,  my football team don’t play until Sunday afternoon this weekend, over in Adelaide, and it doesn’t appear as though I will even see the game on TV – the only coverage is on the pay TV channel. Perhaps I should at that time, travel into the city again, for the official opening free concert of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival – I actually have tickets for two jazz concerts next week, so with meetings on three other nights, and a radio show to do on Tuesday night, it seems that I am going to be ‘out’ on 7 of the next 9 evenings!!!  And this is supposed to be the time of my life when I start relaxing!!

I shall return >>>>>>>>>>>>>>




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: