The COVID virus continues to wreak havoc on live performance, with many events being cancelled or rescheduled due to lockdown or bans on interstate travel. Thankfully Adelaide possesses many very fine musicians and three of its best wind players – Celia Craig, Dean Newcomb and Mark Gaydon – together with the fine pianist, Michael Ierace, were able to more than amply fill the breach for Musica Viva with a recital devoted to  20th-century French chamber works. Played without intermission, the program demanded stamina, eloquence and precision. The works ranged from two short piano pieces by Erik Satie, sympathetically played by Ierace, to a late oboe sonata by Saint-Saëns (1921) in a pastorale style, with more than a nod to Elgar and Vaughan Williams, as well as works by members of Les Six and their followers.

Craig, Newcomb, Gaydon and Ierace Musica Viva

The pairing of two of Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s principal soloists, Newcomb (clarinet) and Gaydon (bassoon), with their brilliant former comrade Craig (oboe), was an inspired choice, leading to masterly...