R E V I E W S  &  A R T I C L E S

Ensemble Le Monde shows they are world class.

Peter Burdon, Adelaide Advertiser

 

Ensemble Le Monde, Ngeringa Farm

Sunday, 28 July 2013

 

A rainbow stretched promisingly across the horizon as the crowds returned to the recital room in the beautiful Mt Barker Summit setting for the second half of the latest concert in the consistently excellent Ngeringa Concert Series. Ensemble Le Monde, formed by ASO bassoonist Mark Gaydon with Alison Heike (violin) and Dean Newcomb (clarinet), had warmed the audience up with a rarity from the composer conductor Igor Markevitch, the 1931 Serenade for violin, clarinet and bassoon.

It's a fine, angular piece that shows an indebtedness to Markevitch's countrymen Stravinsky and especially Shostakovich. The astringency of the Serenade was in stark contrast to the shameless romanticism of Glinka's Trio Pathetique with pianist Kristian Chong.

 

Nothing romantic about part two, however, which climaxed with a rousing account of Stravinsky's famous Soldier's Tale suite in the composer's trio arrangement. Here the popular configuration of violin, clarinet and piano came into its own, and seldom has the term "effervescent" been more aptly applied than to this performance, which was ripping.

 

Preceding this was Andrew Schultz's Deep Blue and Dirty, commissioned by Gaydon and premiered in 2011 by he and Chong. A virtuosic bassoon part held no fear. And a self-control award to Dean Newcomb, whose brilliant performance of Stravinsky's admittedly witty Three pieces for clarinet solo, had a tot on the aisle convulsing with laughter. You try playing the clarinet with a smile on your face.