Perth Concert Hall
December 1, 2017

Asher Fisch has been making a habit of giving a brief introduction to his concerts using the West Australian Symphony Orchestra to illustrate his ideas. WASO’s chief conductor has an easy manner and his insights make the listening experience much richer. Who knows if the education is building the audience of the future but it certainly makes the audience in the present more deeply connected to the journey unfolding on stage.

Asher Fisch with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. Photograph © Emma Van Dordrecht

It makes a difference to have Israeli composer Avner Dorman, relatively unknown to Perth audiences, introduced as Fisch’s “friend” and to hear examples of how Dorman’s After Brahms: Three Intermezzi for Orchestraappropriates Brahms’ piano works .Fisch played Brahms’ A Minor Intermezzo Op 118, No 1 on piano and explained how Dorman orchestrated the work by setting the arpeggios for low strings and fracturing Brahms’ melody to create a rhythmic hemiola. Armed with this knowledge the discordant first movement of After Brahmscame alive with a dense energy reminiscent of Brahms’ orchestral writing.

According to Fisch the sadness in Brahms’ late works is...