Asher Fisch conducts Strauss & Bruckner
Perth Concert Hall
REVIEW DAVID CUSWORTH
In the third ovation for Anton Bruckner’s 8th Symphony on Saturday night, WASO musicians denied to rise but rather applauded conductor Asher Fisch — wind clapping, strings beating the audio stand together with the bow in conventional method.
This was praise indeed for a concerted attempt, directing 76 moments of textured orchestration with no score. ) Not a written note in sight.
It was the climax to some full scale program, efficiently of five tone poems.
Initially, Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings, was exquisite in its own stripped-back refinement.
All of 24 gamers, Fisch added, walked into a virtually bare stage with each other, reciting the aging Strauss’s lament for ethnic tragedy — in 1944 Munich — together with telling restraint.
Warm chords from celli and bass put a meditative, maybe not very melancholic tone.
Each participant, remarkably for strings, had their particular part instead of sharing, along with the rich counterpoint introduced the uncommon sight (at the level) of banks of violinists bowing every in their own speed.
Proof possibly a fantastic group consists of leaders.
Fisch, consistently a controlling figure, appeared almost languid, his expansive gestures nearly touching the people.
The sound rose and fell kaleidoscopically, providing voice to Strauss’s regrets; delicacy from the final chords a textbook illustration of dynamic controller.
Just how different the period following the period.
90 gamers of each colour — such as two horns (even Inspector Morse just had eight! ) ) — started Allegro moderato with full size late-Romantic thrive: horns, strings and woodwind echoing the fin de siecle; WASO’s Germanic trumpet part in nice voice.
Dynamics were about another scale to Strauss, but managed no less deftly.
And in this significant outfit, consummate attorneys stood out: Andrew Nicholson (flute), Liz Chee (oboe), Allan Meyer (clarinet) and trumpeter Brent Grapes over and outside.
Scherzo altered the disposition but barely the intensity. This is a joke using a plangent punchline.
Fisch’s lively control was tight, evoking everything from state dancing to pealing bells to fireworks.
The orgasm also appeared to station Game of Thrones, although maybe more realistically, Wagner.
Adagio started with mellifluous strings straightened, to be bolstered by stringing, Wagner tubas and low brass.
Sarah Bowman’s (sic) harp was a civilising influence, regulating the swell.
Another was that the heat of this 16-powerful back row — half of a conventional brass ring — constantly finely tuned and controlled.
Ominous pulsating chords in complete outfit opened the Finale, wrought strings complementing the solid brass choir and scintillating woodwind.
From the cadence, the surety of bash was huge; a fitting tribute to a planet that blew itself apart 100 years ago now.