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ZOFO - Musica Viva

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by John Andrew (subscribe)
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Bold, Brazen and Bewitching

Keisuke Nakagoshi and Eva-Maria Zimmerman created a rapt engaged silence in the Conservatorium audience, for all 75 minutes of their continuous performance.

They had commissioned fifteen composers from around the world to write a short piece based on an artwork that they had chosen, preferably from the composer's own country. These artworks were projected on a screen behind the piano.

Linking each movement are "promenades" composed by Nakagoshi, each a hommage to Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition". The theme of "promenade" was added to by the pianists, in turn, standing at the end of each movement, walking around the piano, and changing places at the keyboard.

Together the artworks and the music merge in our minds; Monet's impressionism and James Gleeson's surrealism, and a beautifully simple evocation of a seascape, with layers of blue evoking waves as they morph into the sky.

And all with the wonderfully varied and exciting virtuosity of the pianists their hands seeming at times to merge together to produce an all-absorbing wall of sound.

"What were they throwing into the strings" we wondered. "Roasted nuts" they told us when we asked after the performance. "It changes the texture of the sound, but it is so difficult to do it and keep the rhythm".

"Why was there no page-turner?" "I hate someone looking over my shoulder and seeing my mistakes" Nakagoshi said "and with four hands we always have one available to turn the page".

More than most performances, after tribute has been paid to the vision and its execution, it is exceptionally hard to review as one suspects that each member of the audience responded differently to the sounds and images.

Suffice it to say that the response at the end, after a moment of stillness, was that of enthusiastic and voluble appreciation.

This was a truly memorable experience.

Melbourne 11 May 2019 7:00 PM
Sydney 13 May 2019 7:00 PM
Newcastle 16 May 2019 7:30 PM
Perth 21 May 2019 7:30 PM
Adelaide 23 May 2019 7:30 PM
Sydney 25 May 2019 2:00 PM
Canberra 28 May 2019 7:00 PM
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Why? A unique opportunity - unforgettable
When: 9th May
Where: Conservatorium
Cost: $85
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