#SheReviews Mozart and Brahms

June 9, 2021


For someone not steeped in the ins and outs of classical music, a visit with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra is nonetheless always a joyous occasion.

Regarded by many as being up there with the world’s best, the orchestra always delivers.

And so it was on May 28 and 29 at the QPAC Concert Hall with its Mozart and Brahms “Music to soothe the soul” programme which was given added impetus with guest performances by two internationally acclaimed Australian musicians.

Diana Doherty, Principal Oboe of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, who is in demand all over the world, captivated with her mastery of this elegant instrument which is regarded as one of the most difficult to learn to play. 

There are special musical terms to describe the sounds Ms Doherty conjured from her oboe but let’s just say they were mesmerizing for this layman who simply sat there enjoying a special journey. 

It would have been easy to close one’s eyes and concentrate only on the music but to do so would have meant missing the sheer joy and energy of the music maker. Special.

Leading the second half of the programme – Brahms Symphony No 2 – was conductor Alexander Briger, one of Australia’s premier conductors and a Brahms specialist.

He needed to be, directing the, by then, full QSO through, the at times, bewitching score with his baton and body and not a sheet of music in sight.

The symphony is regarded as the “sunniest” of Brahms symphonies with one reviewer quoted as saying: “There, in solitude and in between dawn swims and long daily walks he composed this bucolically joyous works with rare switness”.

Suffice to say it left the audience breathless, especially after Maestro Briger brought in the big guns – trombones etc – at the climactic end.  

When it was all over, a smiling Briger acknowledged every section of the orchestra that had made the performance another worthy addition to the QSO’s honor-role. Our orchestra, Queensland’s orchestra, deserved the accolades. 

Epic Sounds (Music That Soars) June 26: Acclaimed Australian didgeridoo player and composer William Barton performs with the QSO    

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