devised and presented by Alex Cohen AO
reviewed by Neville Cohn
Quite the most memorable of the offerings at this fascinating presentation was an account of Gerald Finzi’s Dies Natalis featuring The School of Music Chamber Orchestra and soprano Sara Macliver.
Clear diction is a crucial requirement here – and in this sense Macliver came through with banners flying. Vocal tone, too, was consistently fine in a beautifully considered presentation by one of UWA’s most distinguished music graduates.
Throughout, the soprano line was complemented by the young UWA string players who responded most expressively to the masterly direction of Paul Wright who has done so much to raise the level of string playing at the School of Music.
At this most civilised of entertainments, Alex Cohen’s philosophical musings, in turn wry, gentle and self-effacing, were like a golden thread through the evening.
Later, Wright, with Graeme Gilling a fastidious accompanist at the piano, presented Shostakovich’s delightful Romance from The Gadfly. It was given a beautifully considered exposition. Earlier, Gilling played that perennial favourite: Myra Hess’ arrangement for piano of Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.
Alan Lourens is a master of the euphonium – and this was clearly evident in his account of an unaccompanied Tarantella by Philip Wilby.
Some vocal edginess was apparent in an account of Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock in which the vocal line was complemented by Gilling at the keyboard and Ashley Smith on clarinet.