It was to have been “the tour of a lifetime” for Paul Dean and Brisbane’s Ensemble Q – a program of music highlighting the group’s prodigious skills, culminating in a performance of his Concerto for Cello and Wind Quintet, written for his wife cellist Trish Dean.
But, sadly, lockdowns put an end to that and Dean and Musica Viva Australia had to go to plan B with a one-off livestreamed performance from the empty ABC Queensland Symphony Orchestra studio.
With the camera left to roll, we see a masked stagehand setting up the various configurations for a wide-ranging recital, often helped by the performers themselves shifting chairs, mics and music stands. It has the impersonal sterile atmosphere of an operating theatre – until the music starts.
And what music, what performances!
It gets under way with the seductive and sinuous solo flute of Virginia Taylor playing Claude Debussy’s Syrinx, its perfect four minutes expressing a variety of colours and emotions, all delivered with perfect control and burnished intonation by Taylor.
Beethoven’s youthful, cheeky and sunny Variations on La...