Tour 1, 2013 - Canberra Times, Canberra

 

Selby and Friends- ‘Blossom and Grow’ – Fairfax Theatre, Monday 18th February, 2013-02-18
By Jennifer Gall
‘Blossom and Grow’ was a thrilling concert to open the 2013 season for Selby and Friends. The atmosphere Kathryn Selby creates is a privileged space for listeners. In the packed theatre the Canberra chamber music family once again united to welcome in another year of intimate harmonies.
The programme was cleverly constructed, beginning with the Mozart Piano Trio in G major, KV 564, building with the Fauré Piano Quartet in C minor, Opus 15 and concluding with the sparkling, tempo-twisting Dvorak Piano Quintet in A major, Op 81. There was time and space for the audience to appreciate each of the musicians and the developing inter-relationships between members as the ensemble expanded. A significant part of the pleasure was the visual spectacle of the very different physicality of the ensemble members united by the choreography of bows, hands, bodies and facial expressions.
Selby’s piano was perfectly sympathetic as the violin (Elizabeth Layton) and cello (Clancy Newman) conversed in the opening Allegro of the Mozart Piano Trio. Layton’s particular blend of warmth and technical dexterity was supported by Newman’s exceptional accuracy. He is like a poised hunting dog, watching his fellow musicians, all senses alert to the nuances of the musical line and ready to spring, seize the phrase and enter at the appointed moment with a discerning sound.  
Tobias Breider joined the ensemble to play viola in Fauré’s Piano Quartet. His height is striking and the beautiful Viola, a large-ish 45cm length, modelled on an early 16th century instrument, suited him well. With an exceptional sweet, delicate upper register contrasting with the lower, darker passages played in unison with the cello; the Viola illuminated this lovely Quartet.
The youngest member of the ensemble, Year 9 student Grace Clifford joined the stage for the Dvořák Piano Quintet. Impeccably composed, Grace’s performance revealed her intelligence and acute intuition.   Every note and chord of the performance was polished by the discipline of the ensemble to achieve a wonderful energetic unity. Unfailingly responsive to the dynamics and nuances of each other’s playing, the ensemble navigated the savage rhythmic patterns, sudden silences and contrasting moods of Dvořák’s passionate score.
This was an evening of musical radiance - a reminder about why musicians study, practice, struggle aspire, negotiate and play together. As governments and institutions around the world gouge away funding for musical performance and musical education, Kathryn Selby nurtures the flame of vital Australian music making.

Published 23 February 2013

By Jennifer Gall

‘Blossom and Grow’ was a thrilling concert to open the 2013 season for Selby and Friends. The atmosphere Kathryn Selby creates is a privileged space for listeners. In the packed theatre the Canberra chamber music family once again united to welcome in another year of intimate harmonies.

The programme was cleverly constructed, beginning with the Mozart Piano Trio in G major, KV 564, building with the Fauré Piano Quartet in C minor, Opus 15 and concluding with the sparkling, tempo-twisting Dvorak Piano Quintet in A major, Op 81. There was time and space for the audience to appreciate each of the musicians and the developing inter-relationships between members as the ensemble expanded. A significant part of the pleasure was the visual spectacle of the very different physicality of the ensemble members united by the choreography of bows, hands, bodies and facial expressions.

Selby’s piano was perfectly sympathetic as the violin (Elizabeth Layton) and cello (Clancy Newman) conversed in the opening Allegro of the Mozart Piano Trio. Layton’s particular blend of warmth and technical dexterity was supported by Newman’s exceptional accuracy. He is like a poised hunting dog, watching his fellow musicians, all senses alert to the nuances of the musical line and ready to spring, seize the phrase and enter at the appointed moment with a discerning sound.  

Tobias Breider joined the ensemble to play viola in Fauré’s Piano Quartet. His height is striking and the beautiful Viola, a large-ish 45cm length, modelled on an early 16th century instrument, suited him well. With an exceptional sweet, delicate upper register contrasting with the lower, darker passages played in unison with the cello; the Viola illuminated this lovely Quartet.

The youngest member of the ensemble, Year 9 student Grace Clifford joined the stage for the Dvořák Piano Quintet. Impeccably composed, Grace’s performance revealed her intelligence and acute intuition.   Every note and chord of the performance was polished by the discipline of the ensemble to achieve a wonderful energetic unity. Unfailingly responsive to the dynamics and nuances of each other’s playing, the ensemble navigated the savage rhythmic patterns, sudden silences and contrasting moods of Dvořák’s passionate score.

This was an evening of musical radiance - a reminder about why musicians study, practice, struggle aspire, negotiate and play together. As governments and institutions around the world gouge away funding for musical performance and musical education, Kathryn Selby nurtures the flame of vital Australian music making.

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