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by Tony Roma
posted 03/02/2021

ARCO Presents Illuminate This February

Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra to
ILLUMINATE Australia’s Concert Halls in February Performances

At a time when an overseas holiday seems a distant, romantic dream, the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra kicks off its 2021 concert season with a European musical journey from the comfort of the concert hall – with thrilling live performances!

Australia’s champion of historically informed performance – with a galaxy of Australian international stars playing period string instruments – returns to the live concert stage in February with the first of its 2021 offerings. “Illuminate” features the music of Bruch and Tchaikovsky and welcomes back soprano Jacqueline Porter to perform Britten’s remarkable song cycle Les Illuminations, with text by French poet Arthur Rimbaud.

Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence begins in the tranquil air of the Mediterranean before taking us directly to the Motherland, its fourth and final movement intensely Russian and Romantic. Bruch’s Serenade for Strings after Swedish Melodies is a seldom-heard but beautiful example of his life-long attraction to folk tunes and themes. And Britten’s Les Illuminations couples some of his most remarkable string writing with the words of French poet Arthur Rimbaud to create something evocative, fantastical.

In describing his Les Illuminations, Benjamin Britten wrote, “The word ‘Illuminations’ suggests both the vision of a mystic and a brightly coloured picture”. It is this sense of a technicolour canvas that the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra invokes in ILLUMINATE, directed by Rachael Beesley and featuring soprano Jacqueline Porter.

The February concerts also feature the first of the year’s popular Voyage of Musical Discovery education series – equal part concert and demonstration – this time focusing on ‘motivic development’. Australia’s consummate saxophone virtuoso Nick Russoniello features with Suite for Saxophones & Loop Station.

Orchestra concertmaster and co-artistic director Rachael Beesley said: “These masterpieces for string orchestra with voice create an opportunity to explore the unique sound worlds of three extraordinary composers.

“By engaging with the wealth of historical sources and perspectives, this allows deep insights into rediscovering the romantic lyricism and spirited performance styles of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.”

Who: Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra

What: Illuminate

Where: City Recital Hall

When: Tuesday 16 February @ 6.30pm – The Hills Grammar School | Friday 19 February @ 7.00pm – City Recital Hall 

To Find Out More & Book Online Click Here

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