Marching with Merkel

WITH most of the world’s leaders pinning their hopes on Angela Merkel to save the world at the G20 Summit in Hamburg last weekend, it’s fitting that the Fremantle Chamber Orchestra has picked a German-heavy program for its upcoming concerts.

And particularly fitting is that the big focus will be on Bruch’s Violin Concerto 1, starting as it does with a romantic first movement and finishing with a rollicking march-like finale—a bit like the German chancellor’s performance.

The piece will feature violinist Emily Leung, who performed with the orchestra two years ago but has since been sizzling up international ranks courtesy of a trip to Indiana University, where she’s been working with Mauricio Fuks.

Leung is the university’s first overseas student in its 197-year history to be named as a Wells Scholar.

• Wells scholar Emily Leung. Photo supplied

Conductor Christopher van Tuinen recalls the FCO’s first look at Leung fondly.

“For those concerts two years ago we performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and it was apparent then that we have here a musician of rare talent and sophistication,” says van Tuinen.

The concert will start with Beethoven’s Leonore 1 Overture, which was actually written third and is a testament to the composer’s drive to keep reviewing his work in the search for perfection.

The most ambitious piece of the night will be the finale, Mendelssohn’s Third Symphony, known as the Scottish.

“Inspired by a walking tour of Scotland in 1829, Mendelssohn began work on the symphony only to put it aside until its completion in 1842,” says van Tuinen.

“While there are clearly musical references to Scotland in the work, it’s a mistake to focus on these over its other elements.

“Most notably was his intention that the movements be played with none or only a small break between them, linking the themes in the ear so the audience hears more clearly their connection. Justifiably recognised as a masterpiece, the symphony affirmed Medelssohn as one of the great German romantics before his untimely death in 1847 at the age of 38,” says van Tuinen.

The concerts will be held at the Perth Town Hall on Saturday July 22 at 3pm, and the Fremantle Town Hall on Sunday July 23 at 3pm. Tix at the door (or via Ticketek) $40 adults, $35 concession, under-18s $20.

by STEVE GRANT

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