La Fraternita di Solisti which will henceforth be know in this blog as LFDS is an exciting recent addition to Melbourne's fine music scene. Artistic Director Gyula Cseszko is supported by a very innovative and incredibly energetic team, who's mission is to bring interesting repertoire to performance with a chamber orchestra of virtuosic musicians.
This concert nicknamed Bach Brews teamed the Bach Coffee Cantata, which in reality is a short comic opera, with the incredibly beautiful double violin concerto, featuring, finishing with Cantata 51, the only "Churchy Bach" in the programme, sung by Elena Xanthoudakis.
The concert was made truly entertaining with some simple yet effective staging allowing the Coffee Cantata to come to life . Elena who sang wonderfully throughout with a clear fine soprano voice, also created a wonderful character on stage. She pouted and glared as her father (sung by Lucas De Jong) forbade her to drink more of her preferred elixir, coffee, and she was demurely coquettish in response to being wooed by her gentle suitor Zachary McCulloch. The male voices were also superbly clear and fine, all played with a gentle humour. The final movement pictured above brought all the musicians together in a rousing finale.
The programming was delightful, interspersing encores, stories and historical background. The playing in every piece was quite brilliant and very precise, reflecting the ethos of LFDS to bring the best music to Melbourne. The audience response was truly enthusiastic, with spontaneous outbursts of joy and appreciation for the playing.
The double concerto was handled magnificently, the second movement soaring with melody and yearning that only a violin can provide. The fast passages were kept completely under control with the exact precision that Bach requires.
The Cantata 51 added horn playing to the mix, giving Elena a platform to demonstrate her incredible range and abilities. The call and response between singer and horn kept the piece bouncing with joy, the second movement reflectively communing with angels. The horn stayed around for Elena's rousing encore - the famous Handel aria from Samson - "Let The Bright Seraphim".
Fortunately Hofland Music captured this special concert in sound and video. The CD which was also sold at the end of the concert will be the first product available on the Hofland Music store.
We are looking forward to more great concerts with this really fine musical team.