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Tinalley String Quartet and Lior - Review

Home > Melbourne > Concerts | Classical Music | Music | Performing Arts
by Fiona Anderson (subscribe)
A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
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Inspirational Work from Talented Tinalley
I was fortunate to experience last night the wonderful Tinalley String Quartet playing with ARIA awarded singer/songwriter Lior Attar at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

Their performance in Through Nature to Eternity was diverse, unexpected and superbly executed. The collaboration between Tinalley String Quartet (TSQ) and Lior was inspired, allowing them to comprehensively achieve their aim of representing a life cycle of love, life and death in music.

Tinalley String Quartet and Lior
Tinalley String Quartet - masterful music that took the audience on an emotional journey

In the first half of the program, we were treated to TSQ playing Ravel's String Quartet in F Major (1897). Through this performance, the talents of Adam Chalabi (1st violin), Lerida Delbridge (2nd violin), Justin Williams (viola) and Michelle Wood (cello) shone through. They impress as a cohesive, polished group, well used to playing together. Achieving this synchronicity while maintaining a passion and feeling for the music seemed effortless for these musicians.

Having been taken on a delicious journey through the four movements of Ravel's work - from the gentle Allegro moderato - tres doux through to the concluding Vif et agite ('lively and agitated') with its vibrant pizzicati, I could have gone home feeling satisfied.

However, after interval, there was another treat in store.

The audience was informed that the second half of the program had been 'curated as a musical narrative', meaning that the musicians would move seamlessly from one work to the next. Consequently we were asked not to applaud until the conclusion of the program. This proved more difficult than you might first think as wave after wave of outstanding music washed over us.

The narrative opened with the world premiere of Song Cycle by Lior and Melbourne composer, Ade Vincent. This was the first time I'd experienced the vocal quality of Lior. His voice glides effortlessly through a broad musical range with the agility of a gymnast. We were quickly drawn into the soulful music, to which Dylan Thomas' Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night, and Hazel Hall's Hours were set.

Tinalley String Quartet and Lior
Lior - the vocal agility of a gymnast. Image credit: By Eva Rinaldi, CC BY-SA 2.0

The musical journey then progressed to three of Dvořák's rousing love songs from his collection of rarely played Cypresses for String Quartet, followed by a return to the stage by Lior, who presented his own composition, My Grandfather, which was inspired by his grandfather's escape from Polish concentration camps.

Returning to the familiar, TSQ played a spine tingling version of Barber's heart rending Adagio from his String Quartet Opus 11. This piece has been played in the past to pay tribute upon the passing of some famous leaders, and I can understand why - it has a way of creating an immediate emotional response that makes it ideal for such circumstances. I thought I was being overly sentimental in my reaction to the music, but I noticed the woman sitting next to me also wipe away a tear or two.

The program concluded with a 'reimagined' version of Sim Shalom from Nigel Westlake and Lior's Compassion, a rich composition in which the Islamic and Judaic influences are clear. Written originally for voice and orchestra, this version arose following an approach by TSQ to Westlake. The soaring notes perfectly showcase Lior's musical agility.

The collaboration between TSQ and Lior was both inspired and inspiring, and I hope the opportunity again arises to hear them together.

Tinalley String Quartet and Lior
Tinalley has another program scheduled for late 2016

TSQ has another program scheduled for 2016 - this time featuring Shakespeare specialist John Bell narrating to Tinalley's music. Click here for the details of this event.



2 & 3 May 2016, 7.30pm Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House

Bookings - 02 9250 7777 or

Cost - Adults $60 · Concession $50 · Under 30 $30


4 May 2016, 7.30pm, Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre

Bookings - Ph. 03 9699 3333 or

Cost: Adults $50 · Concession $40 · Under 30 $30

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*Fiona Anderson was invited as a guest
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Why? Stay tuned to see what the award winning Tinalley String Quartet does next!
Where: Check the website for upcoming programs.
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