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Silk, Metallic, Wooden overview: Sydney August 19

Silk, Metallic, Wooden ★★★½
Metropolis Recital Corridor, August 14

French cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras started the live performance from Musica Viva with the noble solitude of Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Main, and ended it with a companionable Duo for Two Cellos by Offenbach, carried out with Switzerland-based younger Australian James Morley.

French cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras performs at City Recital Hall.

French cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras performs at Metropolis Recital Corridor.Credit score: Annelise Maurer

In between, the live performance reached the musical apogee of those two factors with a brand new work for 2 cellos and Japanese koto, Eclogue, by younger Australian Jakub Jankowski, which, at its gravity-defying climax, left the musical orbits of each Bach and Offenbach. Koto solos performed by Satsuki Odamura and an atavistic return to Bach’s spirit within the type of Britten’s Cello Suite No. 1 spanned the space again to earth.

If the viewers was slightly startled at interval after Jankowski’s piece, they left on the finish with a kind of charmingly irritating earworms that Offenbach does so effectively. Those that have been there are most likely nonetheless attempting to get it out of their heads.

Queyras carried out Bach’s suite like one enjoying alone, drawing the tone again to intimate quietness, letting the quick actions run rapidly, and leaving the voice-leading connections (Bach writes with one “voice” however implies many) to handle themselves.


In Midare by Seventeenth-century koto participant and composer Yatsuhashi Kengyo, Odamura explored wispy sounds and sluggish harmonics.

Jankowski’s Eclogue started with sounds on the cellos evoking abject stillness to which the koto added sharply pointed, vivid micro-inflections portending one thing unusual. Quiet sustained notes constructed pressure till they broke with a searing flash. Fluted tones up and down the fingerboard evoked the voice of spirits, whereas Queyras soared to an intense level of liftoff, earlier than the top pale in quiet birdsong.

After interval, Odamura launched a brand new side of the koto’s character in Robin Williamson’s Letter from a Stranger’s Childhood. Plucked with naked fingers moderately than the standard plectra, it sounded extra like a people harp, mixing heat with occasional sharp punctuation.

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