Queensland Youth Orchestra performs modern masterpieces

Queensland Youth Orchestra performs modern masterpieces
Queensland Youth Orchestra 2024

Composers Missy Mazzoli and Carl Vine feature in a concert performed by Queensland Youth Orchestra. Principal Double Bassist Alyssa Deacon performs Mazzoli’s concerto with aplomb under the masterful directorship of conductor Simon Hewett, and Vine’s symphony is given a youthful exuberant performance.

Dark with Excessive Bright (Concerto for Contrabass and String Orchestra) by Mazzoli takes centre stage in this colourful modern orchestral music concert. ‘Dark with excessive bright’ is a phrase from Milton’s Paradise Lost, and is a surreal and evocative description of God, written by a blind man. Mazzoli writes: ‘I love the impossibility of this phrase, and felt it was a strangely accurate way to describe the dark but heartrending sound of the double bass itself.’ Dark with Excessive Bright was commissioned by the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Aurora Orchestra in London.

While loosely based in Baroque idioms, this piece slips between string techniques from several centuries, all while twisting a pattern of repeated chords beyond recognition. Written in 2018 this 14-minute work highlights various double bass techniques.

To celebrate Vine’s 70th birthday this year, the orchestra is performing one of his best known symphonies, Symphony No. 3. This symphony is a masterpiece renowned for its inventive, bold, and emotionally resonant style.

Although Symphony No. 3 is not a programmatic work as such, the music traces a journey that may be interpreted in many ways. The opening is veiled and brooding, and somewhat enigmatic. The texture gradually lightens until it reaches a section of childlike innocence. This passage is interrupted at its climax by a rhythmically-based movement introduced by a solo for maracas. The climax of this section cuts away, once again, to an extended slow movement characterised by a series of solos spread throughout the orchestra.

At the end of a long, melismatic clarinet solo, rapid running gestures move inevitably towards the Presto Finale. At the height of the Finale, the rhythmic momentum grinds to a halt and a slow-moving Coda closes the work with a final burst of power.


Read Feature on Carl Vine Here


Purchase Tickets

May 25

QPAC Concert Hall

Corner of Melbourne and Grey Streets, Southbank, Brisbane

Queensland, Australia

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