Musica da Camera

© Peter Hislop, Canberra

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Pictures and Programs - 2018-2019

Musica da Camera at the High Court  

1:30pm Sunday 15th April 2018

Musica da Camera celebrated being part of the Canberra music scene for 40 years with a special concert of string orchestra music. The orchestra was directed from the first chair by Barbara-Jane Gilby, concertmaster of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.


The concert featured the viola soloist Lucy Carrigy-Ryan and exploited the acoustics of the High Court building with works including Paul Hindemith’s Trauermusik, Edward Elgar’s Serenade and the Whirling Dance from Graham Koehne's Shaker Dances, .


Click HERE to read the review on the Canberra Critic's Circle website.

"Classic Opera" with Louise Page, September 2018

Len Power writes in the Canberra Critics Circle:-


...Musica da Camera string orchestra played a second performance on Sunday at Sts Peter & Paul’s Catholic Cathedral in Goulburn.  The acoustic in the cathedral has been much praised so it was a good opportunity to travel to Goulburn to listen to the orchestra in that setting.  Hearing the soprano, Louise Page, singing in that venue was another very good reason to go.


For the first half of the program, Louise Page performed arias by the composers – Handel, Purcell, Gluck and Mozart.  The arias covered a wide range of emotions and all were beautifully sung.  Hearing her top notes filling the cathedral was thrilling.  Page gives great depth to the characters she is singing and they come alive for the audience.  She was especially memorable singing Handel’s ‘Ah! Spietato’ from ‘Amadigi de Gaula’ with nicely played oboe from the orchestra accompanying, Purcell’s, ‘When I am laid in earth’ from ‘Dido and Aenaeas’, Gluck’s ‘Che faro senza Euridice’ from ‘L’Orfeo’ and ‘E Susanna…Dove Sono’ from Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro’.  The balance between singer and orchestra was nicely judged and the musical accompaniment for all of the items was well conducted by Leonard Weiss.


The orchestra, which was augmented with some brass and wind instruments for the concert, played Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 for the second half of the program.  Musical director, Leonard Weiss, achieved a tight, clear sound with lots of colour from the orchestra.  It was well played and sounded excellent in the cathedral.

"Classic Favourites"  November 2018

Some excerpts from Len Power's review in the CityNew,com,au:-


MUSICA Da Camera String Orchestra’s concert was an easy-going and enjoyable mix of classic favourites that would be well-known to most music lovers.


...The program commenced with a nicely played “Concerto for Four Violins” in B minor by Vivaldi. Rosemary Macphail, Jocelyn James, John Dobson and Heng Lin Yeap played their solos with skill and warmth and the final movement was especially well-played.....


... pieces by Elgar followed – “Salut d’Amour: and “Chanson de Matin”. The orchestra gave the first work a lush, romantic sound and the second work was notable for the emotional depth in the sound produced by the orchestra......


...Thirteen-year-old Chantelle Bennett joined the orchestra as soloist for Massenet’s “Meditation”. .... Bennett played with great beauty and precision, making this one of the highlights of the program....


...Other short works by Sibelius, Delibes and Dvořák were played very well and another highlight of the concert was Corelli’s “Christmas Concerto”. The orchestra gave a crisp, very atmospheric performance of this work that was most enjoyable....


...Rosemary Macphail played the solo violin for “Czardas” by Monti with great feeling, bringing out the raw passion in this work and the concert concluded with the audience favourite, “The Radetzky March” by Johann Strauss....


... The works presented might be familiar from recordings and the radio, but hearing them played live added another dimension, especially as the orchestra played them very well and with such obvious pleasure.

Massenet's Thais with Chantelle Bennett as soloist  (17/11/2018)

The audience participates in the Radetzky March (17/11/2018)

Last concert: Rosemary McPhail was soloist in Monti's Czadas.  (Cooma, 18/11/2018)

Winter Strings, 30June/1 July 2018

Works by Warlock, Fauré, Mendelssohn, Handel, Sibelius and Vivaldi to warm the audience. (... and afterwards, Champagne to continue our 40th birthday celebrations.)


Director: Jonathan McFeat

Guitar soloist: Liam O'Connell

Warlock Capriol Suite

Faure Pavane with solo guitar

Handel Concerto Grosso Op 6 no 2

Mendelssohn String Symphony No 10

Sibelius Impromptu

Vivaldi Alla Rustica


Violin1: John*, Christine, Sue, Heng, Ian

Violin2: Rose*, Sarah, Heather, Jeustelle, Diana.

Viola: Paul, Dorothy, Jane and Shilong

Cello: Phil*, Margaret, Helen

Bass: Eric


* soloists in the concerto grosso

"Re-imaginings"  June 2019

Some excerpts from Len Power's review in the CityNews.com.au:-


“REIMAGININGS” proved to be an apt title for Musica Da Camera String Orchestra’s latest concert, which presented three works, two were variations of music by Tchaikovsky and Vivaldi, and the third, an Australian work that contained a set of variations on a main theme...


... “Variations on a theme by Tchaikovsky” [ Arensky]...was played with great feeling by the orchestra, especially the quieter passages.


... “Like Snowdrops You Will Shine” was composed by French-Australian composer, Katia Beaugeais. ... shimmers with atmosphere and the orchestra gave it a fine performance....


... “The Four Seasons Recomposed” by Max Richter is a startling work from 2012. Taking parts of Vivaldi’s famous work, Richter makes them his own in a style described as postmodern and minimalist.


... Violin soloist, Canberra’s Helena Popovic, joined the orchestra for this challenging work. She gave an excellent performance, full of passion and energy as well as sensitivity and delicacy in the quieter moments of the work. The orchestra complemented her performance with accuracy and energy. They all truly deserved the thunderous applause they received at the conclusion.


... Once again, Musica Da Camera presented a fine concert. The nearly full house was a demonstration of their growing reputation amongst Canberra’s music lovers..


Read the full review by clicking this link:  CityNews.com.au

Soloist Helen, Conductor Leonard, Composer Katia (22/6/2019)

Photos Courtesy Peter Hislop

Conductor Leonard Weiss, Soloist Helen Popovic (22/6/2019)

Photo courtesy Peter Hislop

30 June 2018 "Winter strings" acclaimed!


Highlights from Len Power's review in CityNews.com.au:-


'The well-chosen program of works by Warlock, Fauré, Mendelssohn, Handel, Sibelius and Vivaldi warmed the audience with fine playing under the baton of Jonathan McFeat....


... the Capriol Suite.... After a bright opening, the second quiet, reflective dance was especially well-played. The dramatic dances and finale that followed were vibrant and strongly performed.


... Solo guitarist Liam O’Connell presented [Gabriel Fauré’s “Pavane” ] in an arrangement for guitar and string orchestra.The arrangement was a good showcase for O’Connell’s talented guitar playing ...


... a strong and enjoyable performance of Mendelssohn’s “String Symphony No. 10”. .... really brought out the full colour and emotion in the music in the dramatic sections of the work.


... a well-played Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 2 by George Frideric Handel. It was very clear that the orchestra members were particularly enjoying playing this work.


...  “Impromptu Nos. 5 and 6” by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius proved to be the highlight of the concert. ... highly atmospheric and were played with great feeling and sensitivity ...


... a rousingly good performance of old favourite, “Concerto for Strings in G alla Rustica” by Vivaldi.


...another highly enjoyable concert.'


Please read the full review <here>