Canberra Symphony Orchestra - Cello

18 May 2017

If asked to name great cello players I’d be stumped after Yo Yo Ma and David Pereira. Pereira because he’s a local and I’ve been privileged to hear him play on several occasion and Ma, because he’s an international superstar with amazing versatility that includes my favourite tangos by Astor Piazzolla and an appearance on Sesame Street. And you’ve got to love a man who calls his cello Petunia. A nickname suggested by a student for an instrument created in 1733 by Domenico Montagnana.

And now to add to that pair is a handsome personable Italian Umberto Clerici, the featured artist for the Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s 2017 ActewAGL  Llewellyn Series second concert featuring his  cello by Carlo Antonio Testore made in Milan in 1758. The only musical instruments in Australia then were probably didjeridus and clapping sticks but music however it is created is one of life’s great joys and the Schumann Cello concerto in A minor in the hands of this artist was sublime.

In a concert that included Haydn and Brahms it was the Sculthorpe String Sonata No 3 (Jaibaru Dreaming) that took us to Kakadu and with indigenous rhythmic patterns you could close your eyes and be transported to a warmer clime and the sounds and sensations of that space.

In a world that seems more stressful than we’d like, where the cacophony of the day to day intrudes and the 24/7 information networks take precedence, the pleasures of beautiful music are a soothing respite. And this concert was that.