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  • Helen Gramotnev


Pianist Alex Raineri and cellist Oliver Scott

A global pandemic is no obstacle for the artists of the Brisbane Music Festival. Alex Raineri brings yet another rich program of classical music ranging from well-known pieces to contemporary compositions. From a small studio fitted with big instruments comes an ambitious project of ten performances, fully online, capable of transporting our living rooms into home concert venues.

Gravity, the third performance, was a journey through time, beginning with a contemporary work, Suspended Preludes by Australian composer Andrew Schultz. It continued with Gioachino Rossini’s rarely heard Duo for Cello and Double Bass, commissioned for a 19th century dinner party, and largely forgotten until many years later. The familiar faces of Marian Heckenberg (double bass) and Oliver Scott (cello) from the 2019 program bring to life the animated banter between the two large stringed instruments – like two aristocrats in a lively debate after a few too many glasses of wine, but who will always remain good friends.

Marian Heckenberg playing double bass for the Gravity online performance

The concert’s backbone is the momentous Sonata for Cello and Piano in D-minor Op. 40 by Dmitri Shostakovich. The Russian melodies, permeating through its four movements, evoke high emotions, ranging from wide and moody rhapsodic themes to sparkling, mischievous passages of the final movement. My personal favourite – the second movement with its rhythmic chimes of piano octaves combined with the agitated cello bowing, which create a feeling of midnight mercilessly chimed out by a giant clock (perhaps my carriage will even turn into a pumpkin!).

So, plug in your speakers, boom box, or even headphones, and enjoy the Brisbane Music Festival’s classical music with a nice glass of wine. The next performance is scheduled for Saturday, 18 July 2020, and the program runs until 10 October the 2020, with full schedule and tickets available on the Brisbane Music Festival website.


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