KONSTANTIN SHAMRAY PIANO
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC ORCHESTRA
SOPHIE ROWELL DIRECTOR AND VIOLIN
KEREM Lamento (2008)*
TCHAIKOVSKY Serenade for Strings, Op. 48 (1880)
MAHLER Piano Quartet (1876) arr. Harry Ward**
SCHNITTKE Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra (1979)
*Australian premiere performances.
** Arrangement commissioned by Musica Viva Australia.
Sophie Rowell appears courtesy of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
As a 15-year-old student nearing the end of his first year at the Vienna Conservatory, Gustav Mahler composed one movement of a piano quartet, a work that always gives the impression that something bigger is struggling to emerge. Following Mahler’s own tradition of enlarging certain chamber pieces, this program includes an orchestration of the quartet, made by the outstanding violinist Harry Ward: an ANAM alumnus and a Musica Viva FutureMaker.
Alfred Schnittke was keenly aware of his Soviet/German musical heritage, even as he stomped on it in heavy boots. Yet his piano concerto is a touching affirmation of his artistic roots, and his affection for Tchaikovsky makes the two Russians good bedfellows, the elder’s Serenade here prefaced by Estonian composer Mihkel Kerem’s Lamento, a work of searing beauty.
ANAM’s ensemble of wonderful young string players is directed with equal verve by the terrific Sophie Rowell, one of Australia’s most admired instrumentalists. They are joined onstage by Adelaide’s brilliant, Russian-trained Konstantin Shamray.