Spanish Baroque: Brandenburg and Circa

Rebecca Varidel
4th May 2017

"And if you want me to sing of new fires and other passions... I would rival the most songful birds,, so sweetly would I sing."

Well WOW! Yes the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra continues to WOW WOW WOW in holistic performance beyond the beauty and sensitivity of period instruments and music.

Again a stage of barefoot performers present themselves in total joy and heart connection. Again we see the versatility that is brought beyond the music to the total staging of this concert.

This time the collaboration sits within the time of Spanish Baroque brought into the contemporary with evolutionary vision. This time with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra we see performers from (Brisbane) Circa and featured guest artists soprano Natasha Wilson (New Zealand) and Baroque guitarist Stefano Maiorana (Italy).

Taking our seats in the light and intimacy of the magnificent City Recital Hall we see commanding centre stage, a pole. Behind the circus ring the mezzanine of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. Paul Dyer begins, not on the keyboard but drumming against the body of his instrument. And the circus begins.

Throughout the one act show we are entertained, enthralled, entranced with magic through the playfulness and soul of Spanish Baroque music and the circus. More than the circus, these performers acrobatics athletics dance comedy suspense drama grace.

The program itself takes us on a journey that transitions purity, serenity, joy, beauty then uplifts us with courage, and prods cheekily. There are moments of deep stillness, quiet pauses contrasted with serenading strings to clicking castanets. There are times when we want to clap or even stand and dance. Olé rises from the stalls.

"A dance [performed with] violent and cur movements of the feet... with delightful foot-stomping."

From Santiago de Murcia (1673 - 1739) to Vivaldi and to a Traditional Catalan Song. And to complete from the 15th century on this anonymous final piece Paul Dyer confides 

"This piece to me is about giving thanks; it is wholesome, naive, simple, trusting and innocent."

Although this short season is already nearly sold out make it your mission to get a ticket to what could be the best Sydney theatre performance of the year.

More than highly recommended. Not to be missed!

The Musicians on Period Instruments

Baroque Violin: Shaun Lee Chen (PerthP, Matt Bruce (Sydney), Ben Dollman (Adelaide)

Baroque Cello: Jamie Hey (Melbourne)

Double Bass: Rob Nairn (Adelaide)

Theorbo/Baroque Guitar: Tommie Anderson (Sydney)

Baroque Guitar Stefano Maiorana (Rome)

Percussion: Brian Nixon (Sydney). Jess Ciampa (Sydney)

Chamber Organ/ Harpsichord: Paul Dyer (Sydney)

The Performers of Circa

Caroline Baillon, Billie Wilson-Coffey, Timothy Fyffe, Scott Grove, Rowan Heydon-White, Gerramy Marsden, Conor Neall, Kathryn O'Keeffe

"The gestures and the attitudes are the most lascivious imaginable. Everything is represented, from the sigh of desire to the final ecstasy: it is a very history of love." Giacomo Girolamo Casanova


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Angel Place
Sydney NSW