Three concertos, three soloists, three composers. The Omega Ensemble’s first concert in a year unleashed a torrent of sound, which more than filled the concrete bunker of the Sydney Opera House’s Utzon Room.
Gordon Kerry’s Clarinet Quintet (2019) was commissioned for David Rowden, Artistic Director of Omega, with the support of Kim Williams AM. The ensemble gave the premiere last year to silent applause from rows of empty seats in the SOH’s Joan Sutherland Theatre. Yesterday, the applause was loud and sustained. Two eloquent cadenzas for clarinet are lynchpins for the rippling backdrop of technicoloured string textures, culminating in what the composer describes as “raucous unmusical sounds”. In the hands of the Omega Ensemble, “unmusical” sounds are quickly tamed into something more sophisticated and, ultimately, beautiful.