“His playing blends warmth and clarity, intensity and freshness that simply grabs you: pure Beethoven joy.” Die Welt
Commencing with a meltingly beautiful episode for the soloist, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 4 is a poetic meditation for piano and orchestra that strikes a perfect balance between the tender and the brilliant. Palestinian-Israeli pianist Saleem Ashkar, a Beethoven interpreter of distinction, appears with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra for the first time in this concert.
Schumann felt that a symphony ought to be the sum of its parts rather than a series of disconnected movements, and in his Symphony No 4 he achieves a grand and coherent narrative from start to finish. Disconnection is precisely what Peter Sculthorpe dramatizes in Port Essington, a work that takes an event from Australian history – a failed attempt by white settlers to establish a trading post in the far north of the country – as the subject matter for a work that contrasts “polite” colonial music with the primeval forces of nature.