Brendan Joyce, Camerata's leader, always manages to communicate across the spotlights his engagement with and joy in the music that his wonderful ensemble produces.
In "Souvenir" we began with an expectant audience – always a good start. The program notes promised "a collection of inspired musical moments to treasure". Camerata delivered.
Joaquin Rodrigo's Cançoneta for Violin and String Orchestra was intricate and delicate," leading into the intense and energetic "Strung-out for strings" where Camera obviously enjoyed the frenetic pace – ending up stretched in a single line across the stage.
A stand-out was their "wild card" guitarist guest, Anthony Garcia, whose infectiously joyous energy was greeted with rapturous applause.
It was a privilege to have Meta Weiss as a guest cellist. Beginning her career at the age of seven, she has headlined performances at Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and the Kennedy Centre. We were in some awe of her 1690 Gioffredo Cappa cello as she "duelled" with the distinguished academic and cellist Patrick Murphy.
As Caroline Russo puts it "The piece felt as if it emulated a dialogue between the two artists; as if they were engaged in a lover's quarrel, full of tension, mourning, rage, and even finishing on a moment of passion."
Tchaikovsky's sensational showpiece, "Souvenir de Florence" was an inspired choice to end the evening. Here Camerata could showcase their mastery of every mood, from meditation and mild melancholy to celebration and joy, managing to elicit a depth and breadth of tone which defied their relatively small numbers.
Again – a wonderful evening of music.
Joaquín Rodrigo : Cançoneta for Violin and String Orchestra
Roger Smalley : Strung-out for Strings
Giovanni Sollima Violoncelles ; Vibrez! (for two cellos and strings)
Pyotr Tchaikovsky : Souvenir de Florence, Op.70