#SheReviews QSO Soaring Heights 2022

February 22, 2022

The most recent Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) concert I attended for She Society last week was QSO Soaring Heights, the first of QSO’s Maestro concerts for 2022 and it started big. 

In celebration of their 75th year, Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of QSO Johannes Fritzsch, who also conducted the previous weeks’ energetic concert of QSO Favourites, prepared two epic and masterful works with Soaring Heights, and soar we did.  

Our evening began with Brahms Concerto No.2 in B flat for Piano and Orchestra, Op.83. Being a piano lover who tinkers with the ivory keys I was excited when Brisbane-based piano Soloist Daniel de Borah walked onto the stage. I am witness to the testaments, his fingers enchantingly flew back and forth over the keys.  

Born in Melbourne, Daniel’s finesse and grace appeared effortless. His resume explains why, he has performed extensively throughout the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand having studied at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, the St Petersburg State Conservatory, and the Royal Academy of Music in London. We are blessed to have him as our Head of Chamber Music at Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University. 

For lovers of Johannes Brahms’ second piano concerto, you will appreciate this striking piano and orchestral symphony and the skill, energy, and stamina required for a 46-minute piece, an absolute highlight in the repertoire

Following interval to regain our breath from our first emotional ride, our second half of the concert transported us from sunrise to sunset as R.Strauss Alpine Symphony, TrV233, Op.64 lead us on an adventurous hike up the mountains and back. 

We indulged in colours and loud sounds, the pinnacle of Richard Strauss’ tone poems. A tone poem is a piece of music that tells a story to illustrate a painting or landscape. It was another emotional journey where over 100 QSO musicians shared the concert stage to create mountain magic. 

As we climbed the huge mountain, the mighty QPAC organ roared us up the Alpine track through the booming thunderstorm. A grand piece of instrumental brilliance where the background brass ensemble represented a group of hunters. 

During our post-concert discussions, my fellow audience members were trying to extract each intricate sound, as there were many. We agreed the performances were like a wonderful gourmet platter, full of intriguing and delightful herbs and spices.

I found the hand-turned wind machine fascinating and eye catching. It is a friction idiophone that produces sounds through vibrations and was another topic for conversation amongst my group. According to my chat with Concert Master Warwick Adeney at QSO’s after-party, the orchestral members had agreed it was fun and relevant to include this historical instrument as a complimentary injection of spice and I cannot agree more.  

Another remarkable concert and I am happy to report there are many more to come for 2022.

For those unable to attend, performances are regularly recorded for broadcast on abc.net.au/classic, on spotify.com, watch behind the scenes footage and interviews with musicians at qso.com.au/watch, or access on most social media sites @QSOrchestra  – but there is nothing gustier than live performances.

On another note, QSO loves students, and $29 student tickets are available where you meet the musicians behind the scenes qso.com.au/students

Next up for QSO on February 27, we Dance Around the World 

Up and coming popular concerts Cinematic Fri 29 April 7.30 pm, Sat 30 April 1.30 pm & 7.30 pm and Heroes and Revolutionaries Sunday 15 May 11.30 pm but for a full program of concerts and dates visit https://www.qso.com.au/uploads/QSO2022-Brochure-WEB.pdf  

Queensland’s Symphony Orchestra 75 Years

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