On Friday 28th July 2017, I went to the Sydney Opera House for Tea and the Symphony by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. This was the 5th concert in the series. The concert was all about Ravel. As always the Friday concert was a cut down version. As someone who isn’t a fan of singers it is always a bit challenging to see a Mezzo soprano on the program. Fortunately due to my seats being to the side of the orchestra I wasn’t inflicted with the full force of the singer and was able to enjoy Ravel’s beautiful music. It was a large orchestra, my favourite type, with trumpets, trombones and tuba. The music was delicate and beautifully matched to the singer.
The second piece was Ravel’s ballet Daphnis et Chloé based on the Greek novel of the second century author Longus. Another very large orchestra, this time with the addition of the Sydney Philharmonic. The music told the story by music pictures, with some of the very vivid moments, dancing in the meadow, ships at sea, people on horses and of course Pan’s solo. You could hear the dance in the music but nothing was lost without it. The quiet moments were very quiet but when the whole orchestra was deployed the effect was amazing. I was completely sucked into the story waiting to see how the next part would be shown. I really enjoyed the low strong notes by the 8 double bass players which made the floor vibrate. The running woodwind lines that travelled through the sections were lovely to listen to. I was completely lost in the music. It was a great concert, I had not really listened to Ravel before beyond Bolero. He gives so much more than that.
Link to piece on Spotify
Daphnis et Chloé
Link to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra concert page