An Irish Night: Strings, Stout and Storytelling with Perth Chamber Orchestra, held at Fremantle Town Hall on March 15th, was a big success! Neville Cohn from The Weekend West had this to say about it:
This was a delightful entertainment for a cheerful full house with music provided mainly by Perth Chamber Orchestra strings with an engaging linking commentary by Bryan Rice Dalton. At interval, there were generous portions of Irish stew served to audience members in their seats, airline style. And there was more than a drop of the grape to wash it down.
There was something for everyone, not least an impeccably presented Irish reel by two delightful young ladies from Kavanagh Studio of Irish Dance who understandably brought the house down.
Jessica Gethin, who is known to most concert-goers as a fine orchestral conductor, demonstrated splendid skill on the violin as well. Why don’t we hear more of this exceptional musician in this capacity?
Star of the evening was Stephanie Nicholls, who played Enya’s Watermark on the oboe. Here was a finely pitched, faultless stream of sound which carried effortlessly into the auditorium. A storm of applause that greeted its conclusion was entirely warranted. Brava!
Paul Wright, that tireless musician of highest accomplishment, led the orchestra through a varied program which included a rare airing of Sibelius’ Impromptu for string orchestra – and a gutsy, grainy, attacking account of the Allegro assai from Bartok’s Divertimento for strings. Its grating dissonances were attached with relish, as were its pizzicato measures.
Yet another highlight was a family affair with conductor Gethin and cellist Sophie Curtis in ensemble with their guitarist father Ray Walker. Also contributing were Rob Zielinski on Irish fiddle, Phil Waldron (bouzouki) and Fiona Doyle (Irish flute).