FIVE–MINUTE

PROGRAMME

NOTES

A SHORT READ BEFORE THE CONCERT BEGINS.

CONTRA

CONCERTS

JONATHAN HENDERSON / CURATOR

Bach%20portrait_edited.jpg

BACH OUT LOUD

Baroque masterworks in an intimate setting.

WELCOME

Welcome to BACH OUT LOUD, a recital celebrating the profound genius of Johann Sebastian Bach. Imbued with unparalleled inventiveness, Bach's music has a universal resonance which speaks to all humanity. Across the next hour, we will perform four quintessential chamber works, promising an unforgettable listening experience.

 

To attend a Contra Concert permits you an hour to switch off, recharge and disconnect from deadline mode. We invite you to rebel against your smartphone and dare to get nothing done! Sit back, let your mind wander and share in the rare exchange of music between performers and audience, only achievable in the intimacy of the chamber music salon.

Contra Concerts are proud to partner with Southern Cross Soloists to be able to present this concert. I can think of no better project than one which brings my closest chamber partners and friends together to play in such an intimate setting – my favourite kind of music-making. We are excited to play for you today and thank you for attending our debut series.

 

JONATHAN HENDERSON

flutist / curator

UPCOMING

DIGITAL DEBUSSY

BRISBANE

Saturday May 22, 3pm

Holy Trinity Hall

Fortitude Valley

 

TOOWOOMBA

Sunday May 23, 3pm

St Luke’s Hall

Toowoomba

Flute, viola and harp trios for the digital age.

In a recital of tranquil dreams, pastoral scenes and fragmented recollections, Debussy and Takemitsu are performed by the sumptuous combination of flute, viola and harp. In a new work by Tristan Coelho, the scope of this unique instrumental combination awakens us from a fantasy dreamscape into a digital reality.

SONIC BEETHOVEN

BRISBANE

Friday June 11, 6pm

Holy Trinity Hall

Fortitude Valley

 

TOOWOOMBA

Sunday June 13, 3pm

Toowoomba Grammar School Old Hall

Raucous Beethoven meets modern Australian chamber works for flute and piano.

Young soloists Alex Raineri and Jonathan Henderson continue their collaboration with music bursting with inventiveness and imagination. Alongside powerful Australian works by Lisa Cheney and Paul Dean, Beethoven chamber works promise to delight.

NOTES

A SHORT READ BEFORE THE CONCERT BEGINS.

Bach's Leipzig

An etching of the Thomaskirche by Gabriel Bodenehr, circa 1730

Appointed as Director Musices and cantor of the Leipzig Thomasschule in 1723, Johann Sebastian Bach eventually expressed dissatisfaction with his working conditions and an unobliging Town Council. Seeking consolation, Bach took on directorship of the Collegium Musicum in 1729; a concert society founded by Georg Philipp Telemann for weekly performances at Cafe Zimmermann in Katharinenstraße, the most elegant street in Leipzig.

 

Providing the repertoire with his own compositions, Bach presented informal concerts every Friday evening to an educated audience, with a lively ensemble made up of university students and town musicians. All of the music in BACH OUT LOUD stems from these fruitful years of composing in Leipzig, where Bach experimented with new instrumental genres and produce highly inventive chamber music.

 

Across the hour of today's recital, the music is presented chronologically, in the order it was composed. Over the course of a continuous arc of Bach's music, the listener is introduced to a new player in each work, expanding the ensemble scale and sound one instrument at a time.

Johann Sebastian Bach

Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major BWV 1009

 

Bach’s beloved six cello suites stand as pinnacles of musical expression, providing insight into the legacy of courtly dance music through their progression of loose dance forms. In a continuation of the good-humoured tone of suite No. 1, the third suite for unaccompanied cello begins with triumphant scales that welcome with open arms. The standard cello tuning of C–G–D–A is employed for maximum reverberation, allowing extra resonance from the sympathetic open strings. The Allemande has a light-hearted character–the Courante, an exercise in athletic elegance. The Sarabande–a slow court dance with the accent on the second beat–is the heart of the suite; characterised by double stops which allow the cellist to luxuriate in a palace of sound. A simple, rustic Bourrée stamps on, preceding the more introverted Bourrée II in C minor. The closing Gigue is filled with conversational elements and is lively in spirit.

 

Johann Sebastian Bach

Oboe Sonata in G minor BWV 1020

 

In contrast with its big sister BWV 1030, the Sonata in G minor BWV 1020 is well-known in oboe circles as the ‘little G minor sonata’ and is synonymously interpreted by flutists and oboists alike. Bach’s contribution to the trio sonata was to elevate the harpsichord from a purely accompanimental role to one of equal prominence with the soloist. Here the right hand of the keyboard part works as a second voice to the oboe, in an irresistible, unctuous flow of melodic interchange. Despite the work’s long-disputed authenticity (it is quite possibly attributed to Bach’s son, Carl Philipp Emanuel), its charm and inventiveness soon overshadows any cause for doubt–and so we shall continue to respect the traditional attribution to ‘father’ Bach.

 

Johann Sebastian Bach

Flute Sonata in B minor BWV 1030
 

The key of B-minor seems to bring out a chromatic, dissonant and mysterious side of Bach, the most famous example his Mass in B-minor, completed a year before his death. The Flute Sonata in B minor BWV 1030 bears no exception to the significance of this key, which stood for melancholy in the Baroque. Bach may have intended the sonata for his son Johann Gottfried Bernhard, a gifted flute player who frequently performed with the Collegium Musicum. The structure of the opening movement–Andante–reflects its debt to concerto form, with its alternation between full-textured passages and stretches dominated by soloistic writing for the flute. Before the movement’s close comes the poignant surprise of a Trugschluss or ‘deceptive cadence’, an almost-but-not-quite ending which provides added resolve to the final chord seven bars later. In the second movement–Largo e dolce–a sweet, expansive melody unfolds in the flute above the orchestra’s strumming heartbeat. The closing movement–Presto–begins with a fugue written in three voices, and its concluding dance in 12/16 time unfolds as the flute and keyboard exchange phrases back and forth in a buoyant counterpoint.For our performance, cello joins the ensemble to reinforce the harpsichord part.

 

Johann Sebastian Bach

Trio Sonata in G major BWV 1039


The enormously beloved and often performed Trio Sonata BWV 1039 also exists in an arrangement by Bach for gamba and harpsichord. It is unlikely today’s version for two flutes was the original setting–rather it was presumably conceived as a trio involving two violins. Persistently regal across a stately procession, the first movement–Adagio–is a model prelude: above a calmly progressing bass, two upper lines blend together intimately. The faster movements offer a most intriguing, densely textured scoring in a fine display of innovation and tradition. Of all movements, the third–Adagio e piano–is perhaps most striking–a pensive and profound expression of grief. Bach’s setting in the key of E minor is no coincidence here–so often chosen to represent and illustrate the Crucifixion of Jesus. Eventually such sorrow gives way to a warming Presto in all its majesty, promising a finale of celebration and joy.

Notes by Jonathan Henderson

MUSICIANS

ABOUT TODAY'S PERFORMERS

Jonathan Henderson

flute / curator

 

Jonathan Henderson trained with Europe’s leading flute professors and has carved out a multifaceted musical career spanning from Australia to the Nordic countries. Whilst still a student at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, Jonathan was appointed Principal Flute of the Estonian National Opera Orchestra at age twenty-four. He has appeared as a guest principal flute with the Turku Philharmonic and Tampere Philharmonic Orchestras (Finland), and has performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Nordic Symphony Orchestra and MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra. Orchestral engagements and recitals have seen him perform at the Lucerne Festival, Tallinn Chamber Music Festival, Audi Sommerkonzerte and BBC Proms. As concerto soloist, Jonathan gave the world premiere of a new flute concerto composed for him by Australian Composer Lisa Cheney, commissioned by the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra. In Australia, Jonathan has performed as guest artist at the Craven Creek and Brisbane Music Festivals. In 2020 Jonathan was appointed as flute soloist with one of Australia's most celebrated chamber ensembles, the Southern Cross Soloists, after appearing regularly with the group as Associate Artist in their 2019 QPAC Subscription Series. Jonathan completed his early musical training at the Queensland Conservatorium (Australia), followed by further performance studies at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg (Germany) and the Haute École de Musique Genève (Switzerland).

Katherine Philp

cello

 

Cellist Katherine Philp’s work ranges from the classics, to cutting edge contemporary art music, as well as improvisation, arranging and composing. She is particularly interested in projects that engage in respectful intercultural collaboration, and actively supports the generation of new works by women and non-binary composers. She regularly appears in ensembles and as a soloist at many Australian festivals including the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Tyalgum Festival, Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music, and the Woodford Folk Festival. Katherine’s performances and arrangements have been broadcast live and recorded for ABC Classic FM and ABC Radio National. She is currently the principal cellist of Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra, and maintains a busy and eclectic freelance career. Katherine has become increasingly acknowledged for her performance of new and experimental music, and has undertaken study with Rohan de Saram and Lucas Fels (of Arditti String Quartet). Recent new music highlights include performances with Melbourne-based Rubiks Collective, performing in a portrait concert of Liza Lim’s works with Arcko Ensemble, While You Sleep (a collaboration between composer Kate Neal and artist/animator Sal Cooper), creating improvised solo cello film scores for film-makers Amiel Courtin-Wilson and Jordan Giusti, and recording with the Australian Art Orchestra. Katherine has performed and studied in India, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, taken part in the Impuls Academy and the International Summer Course for New Music Darmstadt, and received an award for Best Performer, playing Berio's Sequenza XIV at the San Marino New Music Project.

Tania Frazer

oboe

 

Tania Frazer is oboist and Artistic Director of the Southern Cross Soloists. Born in Australia, Tania Frazer studied with David Theodore at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She was a member of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, working closely with Lorin Maazel, Rostropovich, Solti and others. ​At the age of 23, Tania was invited by Zubin Mehta to perform with the famous Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. She has held Principal Oboe positions with the Israel Opera in Tel Aviv (1997-2001), and has appeared as Principal Oboe with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, NZSO, Jerusalem Symphony, Stavanger Symphony in Norway, the Montreal Chamber Orchestra and as Principal Cor Anglais of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. From 2004-2008 Tania performed as Principal Oboe with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, appearing as soloist alongside American soprano Dawn Upshaw on their 2006 European Tour. As a chamber musician, she has collaborated with artists such as Richard Tognetti, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Ilya Konovalov and Avi Avital. Tania won first prize at the Coleman International Competition, the Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Award, Australian Foundation in London Award, the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Martin Award and is featured in the Who’s Who of Australian Women in recognition of her contribution to the arts.

Alex Raineri

harpsichord

 

Described by Limelight Magazine as “a soloist of superb virtuosic skill and musicality”, Australian classical pianist Alex Raineri (b. 1993) is internationally active as recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician. International performances include tours throughout California, South-East Asia, United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Germany and Austria. Alex has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Radio NZ, California Capital Public Radio, ABC Classic FM and all of the Australian MBS Networks. As a concerto soloist he has featured with the Queensland, Tasmanian, Darwin and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, Southern Cross Soloists, Orchestra Victoria, Four Winds Festival Orchestra, Bangalow Festival Orchestra and the Queensland Pops Orchestra. Alex has been the recipient of a number of major awards including the Kerikeri International Piano Competition and Australian National Piano Award. Alex is the pianist with the Southern Cross Soloists and other notable chamber partnerships include; Andreas Ottensamer, Twoset Violin, eighth blackbird, ELISION, Sara Macliver, Natalie Clein, Greta Bradman, Li Wei Qin, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Jack Liebeck, Kathryn Stott, Slava Grigoryan, Brett Dean and many others. He is the artistic director of the annual Brisbane Music Festival and is a passionate exponent of contemporary music having given 129 world premieres and 89 Australian premiere performances to date. Discography includes; Transfiguration (2019), Inventions (2019), I’ll Walk Beside You – Teddy Tahu Rhodes & Southern Cross Soloists (2018 – ABC Classics) and braneworlds – Kupka’s Piano (2017).