There was a true showman on stage with Australian Brandenburg Orchestra although his musical instrument isn’t usually associated with showmen!
Swiss born Maurice Steger is regarded as one of the world’s top recorder players. His concert with the ABO – Maurice Steger Recorder Revolutionary – at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Saturday (February 27) shows why.
He demonstrated his amazing skill on several different recorders in a performance which was extremely energetic, engaging and enthusiastic. He ducked and weaved as the music required with his fingers moving with incredible speed. Often he looked as if he was having an animated musical conversation with members of the orchestra.
Watching and listening to Steger it is easy to understand why medieval English minstrels used the recorder to tell their stories through song.
The program included four pieces Steger performed with the orchestra – Vivaldi’s Concerto in G Major RV 443, Fiorenza’s Sinfonia in A minor, Vivaldi Concerto in D major Op 10 No 3, Geminiani’s Concerto No 10 in F major and Vivaldi’s Chamber Concerto in D Major, La Pastorella.
The orchestra also performed Gallo’s Sonata No 12 in G minor, Telemann’s Concerto for three trumpets in D major, Handel’s Overture to the oratorio Judas Maccabeus and Rittler’s Ciaccona a 7 in C major. The latter was especially memorable. The orchestra was whittled down to a small chamber group featuring a theorbo, cello, strings, trumpets and violas. They created a sound which was beautiful and surprisingly contemporary.
One of the joys of attending an ABO concert is watching the enthusiastic Paul Dyer in action. He clearly loves the music and his `work.’ The same can be said of Steger, ensuring a most enjoyable and memorable evening.
Performances of Maurice Steger Recorder Revolutionary are being held at Sydney’s City Recital Hall on Wednesday March 2, Friday March 4 and Friday March 5.
For more information and details visit the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra website.
Jenny Burns attended the opening night Melbourne concert of Maurice Steger Recorder Revolutionary as a guest of the ABO.