Music Review: Evenings at Elder Hall – Kaleidoscope

Presented by Elder Conservatorium Wind Orchestra
Reviewed 31 August 2013

If you haven’t had a chance to witness the majesty of a live orchestra, it’s something you must experience at least once in your lifetime. Watching it on a screen just doesn’t quite live up to the reality of being immersed in the collective musical talent.

Conducted by Robert Hower, the Elder Conservatorium Wind Orchestra—as part of the Evenings at Elder Hall concert series, have delivered Kaleidoscope, a colourful, major showcase of some of the finest musicians the Conservatory has to offer.

Describing the experience is enormously difficult in written form. My best effort could be to liken the overall experience to watching the score of epic blockbusters such as Lord of the Rings, performed right in front of your eyes. These movements and pieces, first and foremost, tell a story. No, I haven’t completely lost the plot; the musical atmosphere you’re invited to share takes you on an emotional journey, using the expert ensemble of musicians as the storytellers.

The bassoon is mournful. The flute, frolicking and playful. Each piece tells a completely different narrative, the standouts being Yiddish Dances (the very essence of Jewish culture was inescapable, intoxicating, and ridiculously fun) and the world premiere of Darvaza, by postgraduate research student Nicholas Denison.  Denison uses his composition to explore the tale behind the formation and devastation of a perpetually flaming crater in the heart of the Karakum desert in Turkmenistan. Sounds implausible, but it was a breathtaking delivery. World-renowned percussionist Andrew Wiering elevated my understanding of the versatility of percussion to dazzling new heights.

Sadly, this performance was a one night only production, but there are concerts to follow in the Evenings at Elder Hall series, I encourage any and all to come along.

A five-star performance; each and every musician deserves every accolade awarded to them.

Reviewed by Nathan Giaccio

Venue: Elder Hall, University of Adelaide, North Terrace
Season: 31 August 2013
Duration: 1.5 hours.


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