2017 Voyages underway, starting in Russia

Australia Ensemble performing new arrangements of Rags by Elena Kats-Chernin

Saturday evening marked the first concert of the Australia Ensemble's 2017 season Voyages, and did not disappoint. The program Russian Legends began with the delight of Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale Suite with Dene Olding (violin), David Griffiths (clarinet) and Ian Munro (piano) weaving their way ably through the character-filled work. Ian Munro returned for two short works by Sofia Gubaidulina with colleague Geoffrey Collins (flute), ending the first half with Arensky's appealing Piano Trio, for which Munro was joined by Dimity Hall (violin) and Julian Smiles (cello).

After interval, the wind players and Munro returned to the stage for new arrangements of three Rags by local composer Elena Kats-Chernin, completed by clarinettist David Griffiths for this performance. To round out the program, the four string players convened for the favoured Borodin String Quartet no.2, a luscious end to the first program for the year, and well-received by the extremely devoted audience.

There is plenty more to look forward to, with the second program Fantasy and Variations coming up on April 8!