The only thing predictable about the Australian Chamber Orchestra is that they will be unpredictable. Their concerts are rarely less than lively, engaging and stimulating. Oh that one could say the same about the boring old MSO.
This time around (April 11 and 12) the concert began with Richard Tognetti shambling on to the stage and addressing the audience in his usual self-effacing manner to provide a halting but informative explanation of what we were about to hear – and why a basically Bach program was being interspersed with pieces by Shostakovich, Part, Schoenberg and the modern British composer Diana Burrell. The afternoon was greatly enhanced by this link between audience and players. And what followed all made immense sense and provided great pleasure, due both to the ever lively playing of the orchestra and whole-hearted singing of Sara MacIlver, Fiona Campbell, Andrew Staples and Matthew Brook. Such rapport within the band, with the singers and, finally, with us, the audience. Yet another wonderful concert. The ACO so rarely disappoints.