Enigma, Yu & Borodin 2
For its third and final concert of the very dynamic concert series of 2015, the Australian & Asian Orchestra opened the concert with Melbourne based Chinese composer Julian Yu’s brilliantly unique and engaging New Upbeat (新起板), which contains many themes and musical references to Chinese folks songs as well as music of Australiana. This was followed followed by a stirring performance of Elgar’s sublime and much loved Enigma Variations, an interpretation which used tempos from performance recordings of to Elgar conducting himself.
The concert ended with a gutsy performance of Borodin’s brilliant, yet very under-performed, Symphony No. 2. which combined typically ‘intense’ Romantic period Russian themes and orchestration as well as many sublime moments, namely the slow third movement which has many musical similarities to some of Caesar Franck’s works.