Hamer Hall, Melbourne
November 17, 2014

Eminent London-born violinist Anthony Marwood is renowned for a formidable combination of virtuosic technique and a rich, varied tone. He is a regular collaborator with eminent international ensembles, and has an ongoing relationship with ANAM in Melbourne. Marwood is currently touring Australia as Guest Director and Lead Violinist with the ACO, performing works by Stravinsky, Dvorak and Enescu.

In his notes to accompany their current program, Marwood described George Enescu as a composer “whose musical voice is slowly but surely being rediscovered in the concert hall.” This is welcome news, because his Octet, in the hands of Marwood and the ACO, was an absolute revelation. Even more astonishing is that this work was completed in 1900 when Enescu was a mere 19 years old. The other famous teen-penned octet (by Mendelssohn at 16) works fundamentally as a solo violin part with string section accompaniment; Enescu’s functions in a quite different manner. It’s a lush, sweeping work of complex counterpoint, reflecting the composer’s great love of J.S. Bach, and originally written for eight players in a doubled string quartet formation. Enescu was reportedly enthusiastic about his Octetbeing played with expanded scoring, which is how the...