One hundred years after the First World War, bullets, bones and bombs are still being discovered by farmers in the fields of France. They remind us of the men of Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Germany, and France who died so painfully in the trenches in the rain and mud.
I was privileged to be at this latest Live at Lunch concert and hear this luminous, soulful performance.
The marvellous quartet of musicians consisted of Jane Rutter on flute, Tamara-Anna Cislowska on piano, David Pereira on cello and Christopher Lantham ( the director of The Flowers of War) on violin. Rutter wore a striking kimono/suit like outfit in turquoise and black the other performers were in orchestral black.
Various short pieces were played, elegantly chosen and combined to make up this sensitive, yearning program. Some were Australian premieres. Composers included Debussy, Ravel, Cras and Boulanger.
Red poppies were strewn on the stage and while the quartet played assorted images of Monet’s marvellous paintings were shown – mostly of his garden at Giverny. Some paintings were soft and tranquil, others in contrast were bright , bold and colourful , almost semi abstract.
The concert was divided into seven sections, loosely based on various themes of Monet’s paintings, that flowed seamlessly into each other ( the pool, the lotus… ) and were accompanied by appropriate paintings.
The concert opened with Debussy’s Finale from the Cello Sonata with rippling piano and the cello at first sprightly but then it became an aching lament.
A fiery selection from Ravel’s piano trio was next, then came a shimmering segment from Debussy’s Violin Sonata in G Minor which was in some ways a furious argument between the trio of violin, piano and cello with the piano floating and the strings yearning.
We then heard works by Boulanger with ravishing violin, melancholic cello and the piano cascading in the background. At times, the piano was limpid and crystalline.
Rather exotic, languid works by Debussy and Cras followed with rumbling piano and darting flute. Selections by Gaubert and Boulanger followed with cascading piano and leaping flute. The music had an underwater feel to it.
Various other works were included. One flurried, jumping piece had blisteringly fast, emphatic piano sections and soaring flute. Sometimes the atmosphere was spiky and at others melancholy.
The final work Cras’ Danza Terra featuring a dominant flute and a haunting passionate quartet.
Concert running time approximately 70 minutes without interval.
MONET : THE FLOWERS OF WAR was performed at the Concourse Chatswood on the 10th May.