Brandenburg Ensemble bring their period instruments to Blackheath

ARIA winning musicians who specialise in playing on gut strings and with wooden flutes are heading to Blackheath this month.

Known for their vibrant and dynamic performances, the musicians of the five-time ARIA award winning Australian Brandenburg Orchestra breathe 21st-century life into centuries-old music.

The Brandenburg Ensemble, featuring five members of the orchestra, are touring regional NSW in an intimate and striking program called Notturno (which simply means ‘night’).

This name reflects the evocative and sometimes dreamy mood of the music that they’ll play with the unusual combination of guitar, flute and strings - a blend of a decidedly exotic flavour.

The concert will showcase chamber music from the Classical period with works by Mozart and some of his guitar-playing contemporaries: Boccherini, Diabelli and the Bohemian composers Mertz and Matiegka.

The musical program for the tour has been curated by the Brandenburg’s principal flute player, Melissa Farrow.

“We play on period instruments of the type the composers knew at that time, and for which they wrote their music,” she said.

“For example, I’ll be playing on a wooden flute made of Grenadilla wood, which is very different to play – and sounds very different – to the modern metal flute. The string instruments use strings made of sheep gut rather than the steel strings that a modern orchestra plays on.

“It is really exciting for us to get out on the road and bring this style of music and playing to areas outside the capital cities,” Farrow said. “Audiences always really engage with the performances.”

The performers are: Melissa Farrow on period flute, Matt Bruce (period violin), Marianne Yeomans (period viola), Jamie Hey (period cello) and Tommie Andersson (period guitar). They will play Matiegka’s Trio in G, Op. 21 Notturno, Diabelli’s Potpourri Duo, Mertz’s Nocturne, Op. 4 No. 1, Mozart’s Flute Quartet in D, K. 285, Boccherini’s Guitar Quintet No. 4 in D, G. 448 and his String Trio in G, Op. 47 No. 2.

Brandenburg Ensemble at Blackheath’s Uniting Church on Tuesday, October 23 at 7pm. Tickets $40/$35/$25 (+ booking fee) at www.brandenburg.com.au.

Jamie Hey: Will bring his period cello to Blackheath's Uniting Church on October 23.

Jamie Hey: Will bring his period cello to Blackheath's Uniting Church on October 23.

Matt Bruce

Matt Bruce

Melissa Farrow. Photos by Pedro Greig

Melissa Farrow. Photos by Pedro Greig