Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra together tore a satisfying strip through otherwise familiar concert experiences in London, with their fierce energy, raw expression, and enviable stamina.
The band was it’s most electric when they were most pared back. Here the ensemble demonstrated terrifying precision. Extreme dynamic contrasts – sometimes within the bar – made good use of the generous acoustic, raising the heart rate in the process.
Tognetti’s inventive arrangement of the
Michael Atkinson’s arrangement of Sufjan Stevens’ Run Rabbit Run suite was an exhilarating tour de force under the fingers of the ACO who let rip in a high octane, sometimes even frenetic, rendition. Newcomers to the live classical scene should start with their journey listening to the ACO playing this work, then go on sit quietly in dark room to recover. This was a blistering performance.
There were momentary slips in the ensemble during Beethoven’s ‘Ah!
On the Milton Court
Amid all of this it would have been understandable if the selected Guildhall School musicians were left behind in a cloud of dust. They weren’t by any means, making this performance all the more incredible.
Special nod to the principal clarinet in the Beethoven whose tone and legato was ravishing. I admire your accomplishment. I’m also seething with jealousy.
The Austrlian Chamber Orchestra return for the second year of their Barbican residency next year.
Listen to Richard Tognetti in a Thoroughly Good Podcast recorded at the Barbican in October 2018.
Pictures: Nic Walker / Australian Chamber Orchestra