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by Tony Roma
posted 22/04/2021

ARCO’s Intimate Chamber Concerts

The Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra brightens the Autumn music scene with an intimate program of gorgeous Romantic chamber music at metropolitan and regional venues.

Its latest series evokes the salons and living rooms of the early nineteenth century, featuring Beethoven’s Trio, Op.38 and the delightful Grand Septet by underappreciated Swedish composer Franz Berwald.

The orchestra’s EVOKE program sees it switch into chamber music mode, providing audiences with the opportunity to hear some of Australia’s finest musicians in a more intimate setting.
The orchestra’s co-artistic director Rachael Beesley leads six other world-class musicians in Berwald’s Grand Septet, while Beethoven’s Trio, will be performed by co-artistic director Nicole van Bruggen alongside Daniel Yeadon and Neal Peres da Costa.

The early years of the nineteenth century saw a surge in popularity for works composed for larger chamber ensembles of winds and strings. Beethoven’s Septet in E-flat major, Op. 20, was considered the very peak of the genre: so successful was it that publishers released multiple arrangements of it for different-sized ensembles, prompting Beethoven to write his own trio arrangement for clarinet, cello and fortepiano – his Op.38. The piece loses none of its genius in its revoicing, with an arrangement so natural and convincing it sounds like it could have been written for these forces.

Influenced by Beethoven’s Septet, and with a clear inheritance from other composers like Schubert, Spohr and Weber, the delightful Grand Septet by Swedish composer Franz Berwald is an inspired work by an often-overlooked composer. Building on short thematic fragments that often mimic village tunes and dances, there is some innovative writing at play – the second movement features a scherzo in the middle of an adagio! But it’s not all sweetness and light, as occasional harmonic twists hint at tensions that never fully resolve.


– Ludwig van Beethoven: 3 Equali for four trombones, WoO 30

– Franz Berwald: Grand Septet in B-flat major for clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello & bass

– Ludwig van Beethoven: Trio in E-flat major, Op.38 for clarinet, cello and fortepiano
(after Septet, Op.20)

Who: Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra

What: Evoke | Beethoven & Berwald

When: Monday 26th April | Thursday 6 May

Where: Hills Grammar School | City Recital Hall

To Find Out More & To Book Online Click Here