Quarry Room, Joondalup Resort
reviewed by Olive Mountbatten
On a stiflingly hot day, one of the most oppressive of a summer that’s been around too long, concert organisers wisely opted to change the venue for Equinox’s concert from outdoors to the blissful, air-conditioned comfort of the Resort’s Quarry Room. And even if 11:30am is perhaps a less-than-ideal time of day to present a program largely devoted to tangos (music that for many, if not most, followers is inextricably associated with the night), the ensemble – Cathie Travers (accordion), Jessica Ipkendanz (violin), Mark Shanahan (guitar) and Pete Jeavons (double bass) – set to with a will.
This was a generous compilation that was largely devoted to the music of tango meister Astor Piazzolla (whose music Travers has done more than anyone locally to make available to a large audience) but included items by other composers, including Zequinha Abreu whose Tico Tico, the 1943 evergreen piano hit that seems never to have lost its charms for both musicians and listeners (and is considered in some quarters to have its source in a section of the finale of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 1!).
Of the Piazzolla pieces, I particularly liked the Equinox tango band’s account of Milonga del Angel, unfolding, as it did, in an introverted, dreamy way that irresistibly evoked images of couples drifting languidly across some inner city dance floor. And in Adios Nonino, Ipkendanz’s violin sang with great feeling and warm tone; this was some of the most haunting, bittersweet music of the recital. Michelangelo at 70, too, held the attention with its rushing violin glissandi that sounded like cries. I liked, too, Richard Galiano’s New York Tango, given altogether appropriate, blazingly intense treatment and the near-mesmeric throbbing of Piazzolla’s Libertango.
This concert was given in the context of the Joondalup Festival.
Copyright Olive Mountbatten 2004