Schubert's Trout comes to the Southern Highlands - final Selby concert for 2014

Andrew's Opera
By Andrew Byrne
8 November 2014, Chevalier College

I am happy to report another brilliant and uplifting concert in the Selby series at Chevalier College at 5pm on Saturday 8th November.  The same program can also be heard in Turramurra, Wynyard, Adelaide, Canberra and Melbourne over the next week.  
 
Being an obligate opera fan, attending chamber music is a new pleasure and an education for me - especially after last weekend’s marvellous Met Macbeth ‘HD live’ at the Empire Theatre in Bowral.  
 
For the “Selby and Friends” final concert of the year we heard Mozart’s first piano trio in three movements, Brahms’ Werther’ piano quartet in four movements and Schubert’s ‘Trout’ piano quintet in five movements (the numbers of movements being the same as the number of instruments is apparently coincidental).  
 
The first is a jolly, light-hearted romp of melody, form and technical brilliance.  The second by contrast is a profoundly deep and melancholic work.  Brahms insisted that its score be prefaced by a picture of a gun pointed at a human head, according to our introduction.  And indeed it seemed like the most consistently minor, discordant, down-beat and sorrowful piece ever written (apart from Chopin’s short prelude in C minor).
 
It was a typically brilliant move Kathryn Selby put the ever popular Schubert ‘Trout’ quintet as the last item for the year.  Five superlative artists played to a packed and enthralled audience which gave an enormous ovation (after a premature ‘Bravo’ from one enthusiast up the back just before the end!).  
 
By some strange quirk of timing the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra were also in Bowral earlier the same day, playing at St Jude’s Church.  What a plethora of culture in this small town!  Remarkably, neither of these events was on the official visitors’ information web site for November (nor was the mushroom rail tunnel tour).

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