Current programs

We are unable to plan
any programs at present
due to the Covid 19 virus.

Program details for 2020
are being replaced by a
series of messages from
our Musical Director
laying out a program
of online musical
offerings to tide us
over in this very difficult year.

Each new offering
will be on
the top of the
adjacent column.

Gerald Keuneman OAM

19th October 2020

Spike Milligan in Melbourne.
Respighi: Pines of Rome.
Khachaturian: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.
Youtube: recording of David Oistrakh.

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13th October 2020

The Recorder.
Fred Morgan, Ade Monsbourgh, Michael Grinter.

Youtube: Vivaldi Concerto in C Major performed by Maurice Steger and
the Cappella Gabetta.
Youtube: Bach Brandenburg Concerto No 4.

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5th October 2020

Helen Reddy and other Australian greats.

Mahler 2nd Symphony in C minor (Resurrection).
ABC Iview: West Australian Symphony Orchestra,
conducted by Asher Fisch.

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28th September 2020

Antonio Vivaldi.
YouTube: The Four Seasons performed by Nigel Kennedy.
Reminiscences of the Kennedy family.

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21st September 2020

John Williams in Vienna. SBA streaming service or Youtube.
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with Anne Sophie Mutter.

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14th September 2020

Beethoven Symphony No 3 (The Eroica) Op 55.
The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim.

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7th September 2020

Sir Charles Mackerras and visits to Australia.
Pianist Nancy Weir.

This week's concert consists of a potpourri of pieces loved by audiences everywhere.
1. Capriccio Espagnol by Rimsky Korsakov Op. 34 The Berlin Phil. conducted by
Joao Viriato.
2. Invitation to the Dance by Carl Maria von Weber - cellists, check out the different
principals in the many recordings. A good visual lesson. Or just enjoy the music.
3. The Planets by Gustav Holst “Jupiter”. On HD classical.
4. Bolero by Maurice Ravel. Vienna Phil conducted by the rising star Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Now Musical Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

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31st August 2020

Sir Charles Mackerras

Janacek "Sinfonietta"; LSO with Sir Simon Rattle at the Barbican Hall 2018

Lucia Popp singing "Queen of the Night" aria from Mozart's Magic Flute

Janacek "Idyll Suite for String Orchestra" performed by "A Far Cry"

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25th August 2020

The work is the Béla Bartók “Concerto for Orchestra” and the great Decca recording and filming from the Bartók Memorial Concert in 1991 with the Chicago Symphony conducted by Hungarian born conductor Sir Georg Solti.

Solti’s last recording was of the Bartók Cantata Profana and the Kodály Psalmus, Hungaricus, a winner of one of his record twenty four Grammy Awards.

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17th August 2020

Beethoven Choral Symphony.

See recordings from many conductors: Klemperer, Furtwängler, Toscanini, Karajan, Harnancourt, Abbado and Barenboim.

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10th August 2020

Ludwig van Beethoven, further notes.

Hammerklavier Sonata
Choral Fantasy Op 80

Missa Solemnis Op. 123. YouTube: Orchestra of the 18th Century conducted by
Daniel Reuss with alto soloist Marianne Beate Kielland.

Ninth Symphony

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3rd August 2020

Ludwig van Beethoven piano music

Moonlight Sonata
Für Elise
Hammerklavier Sonata

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27th July 2020

Benjamin Britten.

Some works:
Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes: Dawn
Ballad of Heroes, a memorial to those fellow countrymen who had died fighting for the
Republicans in Spain

The War Requiem.
YouTube "War Requiem by Benjamin Britten - NDR Radiophilharmonie - ARTE concert" recorded in 2018.

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20th July 2020

Fanfares. Some examples on YouTube:

Copeland "Fanfare for the Common Man" conducted by Bernstein.

John Adams "Short ride in a fast machine" conducted by Marin Alsop at the 2014 BBC Proms.

The fanfares for 20th Century Fox, and Universal Pictures 100th Anniversary (by Brian Tyler).

The Olympic Fanfare and Theme (Summon the Heroes) by John Williams.

Tannhauser and Lohengrin by Wagner, and Fidelio (2nd Act) by Beethoven.

The power of the Fanfare was expressed most recently by composer Frank London releasing a symphonic fanfare entitled “For Our Courageous Workers” in New York at the height of their lockdown.

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13th July 2020

Further consideration of slow movements of fifth symphonies.

Look up "Shostakovich 5th Symphony 3rd movement Largo" with Dmitri Kitajenko
conducting the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

Look up "Karajan Mahler Symphony No 5 Adagietto" for a beautiful recording
accompanied by stunning vistas of the Maiernigg area.

YouTube Tchaikovsky Symphony No 5 Bernstein and Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Andante cantabile begins from 16.30 mark.

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6th July 2020

Slow movements of Fifth Symphonies; for example, Schubert, Beethoven,
Sibelius, Dvorak (No.9 now), and an unusual one, Kurt Atterburg.

Schubert Symphony No 5 slow movement; Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by
Claudio Abbado

Beethoven Symphony No 5 second movement; George Szell and the Cleveland

Sibelius Symphony No 5 in E flat major Op. 82, andante mosso

Kurt Atterburg Symphony No 5 slow movement

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29th June 2020

Program on YouTube:
Rossini - The Thieving Magpie Overture, conducted by Claudio Abbado with the
Vienna Philharmonic

The Viola
Berlioz - Harold in Italy. Viola soloist Antoine Tamestit with the Frankfurt Radio
Orchestra conducted by Israeli conductor Eliahu Inbal
"Hector Berlioz Website - Harold in Italy Memoire Chapter 45"

Hector Villa-Lobos - Bachianas Brasileiras No. 7 with the RTVE Symphony Orchestra

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22nd June 2020

The history of the Madrigal
Luca Marenzio (YouTube)
Recitative music
On YouTube look up Claudo Monteverd "Vi ricorda, o boschi ombrosi" for a version with period instruments.
On YouTube look up Gustav Mahler "Ruckert Lieder", a collection of five songs for
voice and orchestra based on the poetry of Friedrich Ruckert, with soprano
Margaret Price.

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15th June 2020

Program on YouTube:
Anton Dvorak: Symphony No. 4 in D minor Op 13. There are many great recordings.
Joaquin Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez. Performed by Australian guitarist
John Williams.

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8th June 2020

YouTube program.
Ravel 'Rapsodie Espagnole' conducted by Charles Dutoit and the De Paul Symphony Orchestra. The work is in four short sections titled: Prelude a la Nuit, Maleguena, Habanera and Feria.
'Martha Algerich plays Schumann Piano Quintet'.
Brahms 'Variation On A Theme By Haydn' - Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

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1st June 2020

In memory of John Cargher.

Beethoven Rondo in B flat major for piano and orchestra. There is a wonderful recording
of this work on YouTube performed by Sviatoslav Richter, the great Russian pianist,
and the Vienna Phil conducted by Kurt Sanderling recorded in 1963.
Emily Mayer: Faust Overture, written in 1880.
Sinfonia Concertanti by Francois Devienne, performed by the Consortium Classicum
Rundfunk Orchestra directed by Wolf-Dieter Hauschild. This is a composition in three
movements for solo flute, oboe, horn, bassoon and orchestra.
Jazz concerto with Arik Davidov. "Funk on a G String" or Schubert "Ave Maria". These performances are conducted by Aviv Ron and the Israel Chamber Orchestra.

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24th May 2020

Overture from the third orchestral suite of Johann Sebastian Bach in D major
BWD 1068 performed by the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
conducted from the harpsichord by Ton Koopman.

The Bartok "Concerto For Orchestra".
This is featured on a fantastic performance by the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Brilliantly filmed, to see more than the 2 to 3 minutes
you will have to sign up for the orchestra's Digital Concert Hall.
Well worth it to hear and see such a great orchestra in full flight. There are other
recordings but this is my favourite.

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17th May 2020

Here is the concert for this week. An orthodox program, overture concerto symphony.

1) Overture to The Sicilian Vespers by Verdi. Beautiful tunes, triumphal brass and
shimmering strings, this is pure Verdi. YouTube: the Orchestra of the Star of the
Republic of Belarus conducted by Victor Balarikin.

2) Our concerto for the week is the Mozart Piano Concerto No.21 in C major.
A wonderful recording of this work is with Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting the
Philharmonic Orchestra from the keyboard.

3) The great 3rd Symphony in A minor Op. 44 by Rachmaninov. The recording is an
unusual one. YouTube "The American Youth Symphony" performing Rachmaninov Symphony No 3.

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11th May 2020

Two composers this week.

The great French film composer and conductor, Maurice Jarre.
YouTube: A musical tribute to David Lean conducted by Maurice Jarre.

Igor Stravinsky, arguably the greatest influence on the direction of 20th century music.
There is a beautiful video on YouTube of the Ballet Pulcinella with Volodimir Balyk.
The picture is a little dark but the chamber strings and solo wind playing is first class.

The second ballet score is the one and only "Le Sacre du Printemps" premiered in 1913.
There is a stunning performance on YouTube of Michael Tilson Thomas
conducting at a prom concert.

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4th May 2020

Star Wars Day
There is a lovely recording of John Williams at the Albert Hall with the LSO.

Georgian composer Aran Khachaturian.
The Adagio from Spartacus.
Waltz from Masquerade and Sabre Dance from his Gayanah Suite.

There is a fine version of the Sabre Dance with the Vienna Philharmonic or for
something completely different the Sabre Dance played by Vanessa Mae.

Sergei Prokofiev: Third Piano Concerto.
Find a performance by Yuja Wang with the Royal Concertgebauw Orchestra.

As a delicate sweet to finish, google a delightful third movement of the Tchaikovsky
4th Symphony performed by the Mannheimer Philharmoniker, conducted by
Boian Videnoff.

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28th April 2020

Greetings everyone. I have been reorganising my CD and record collection this past
week which I can't believe runs to over a thousand discs and CDs. The trouble is one
gets sidetracked by finding a work or specific recording one hasn't heard for a while
and there goes the next hour. When does one normally get the time to immerse
oneself in such inspired art?

This week let's start with the opera Der Freischütz by Carl Maria von Weber. A game-changing work of its time. Specifically look up "Invitation to the dance". Originally
a piano piece Carl asked his hero Berlioz to orchestrate, changing the key from D flat
to D which was much easier for orchestras then to perform! The French loved their big
ballet sequence in act two of an opera, but on seeing the production Tchaikovsky was
highly critical. The Hollywood habit of placing a ballet sequence in their musicals into
the middle of the twentieth century which had nothing to do with the story I'm sure
stemmed from this tradition.

The concerto for this week is a greatly loved one, Mozart piano concerto No. 23 in A.
Find a recording by Dame Mitsuko Uchida, Japanese-born and trained in U.K. She plays
on a modern piano, not a fortepiano which is very popular now, and performs with the
English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jeffrey Tate. Her clarity of line and deft touch
are a thing of great beauty, as is the sublime accompanying of the E.C.O.

Now for the main course, the epic Mahler Second Symphony. If you have ever visited
Mahler's holiday house in Steinbach am Attersee in upper Austria, you will understand
the inspiration gained by the breathtaking beauty of its situation. The Andante and
Scherzo were penned here in the summer of 1893, five years after the first movement.
In March 1894 Mahler attended a funeral service, and hearing a Boys' Choir sing a
chorale setting "You will rise again my mortal dust after a short repose" immediately
realised that the idea of resurrection must form the last movement. He completed the
score in December 1894 and conducted the first performance in Berlin in December
1895. Furtwängler, the renowned conductor of the Berlin P.O., was a great exponent
of Mahler, but his recordings are old, and lacking modern recording technology.

Find a recording of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with the great Georg Solti
conducting, to my mind one of the great Mahler exponents. Revel in the sound of a huge
orchestration and arguably one of the finest Brass sections in the world.

Until next week, good listening. The more one understands how an orchestra works and
the way different composers use instruments and the colours of sound to express their
genius, the more individual efforts make sense.

20th April 2020

Greetings fellow isolationists. I hope you are all winning the battle against ennui.
Exercise is important and if not able to be outside, here are some marches to troup
around the room to. Don't worry about the neighbours, play it loud.
Tchaikovsky March from Nutcracker Suite
Gabriel Pierne March of the Little Tin Soldiers
March of the toys from Babes in Toyland
Hector Berlioz March to the Scaffold from Symphony Fantastique
(ignoring the ending, it's all a bad dream).

For something uplifting listen to the Finale of Saint-Saens Symphony No 3 (Organ
Symphony). There is a good recording by the Auckland Symphony Orchestra. If
you have watched the Australian film "Babe" you will hear where Nigel Westlake
found his inspiration, recorded in Melbourne with the Town Hall organ.

To bring you down from all that excitement into a more meditative state, let's go to one
of my favourite composers, Claude Debussy, and revel in the elegance and simplicity
I use the word advisedly for the father of impressionist composers) which heralded
a movement in France against the Wagnerian influence on composition at the time.

Begin with "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun", then "Images". These are two of his
orchestral works. For piano solo listen to "Footsteps in the Snow". A good starting
point if you haven't heard much of his music before.

14th April 2020

We begin with Australian composer Ross Edwards "Bird Spirit Dreaming" No 1 "Wild
Bird", performed by and written for sensational oboist and Principal Oboe of Sydney
Symphony, Diana Doherty. It goes for 4.30 mins. If you like it, listed to the rest.

My second choice is "In the depths of the temple" by Georges Bizet. Listen to the
historic recording remastered and sung by wonderful Swedish tenor Jussi Bjorling
and American baritone Robert Merrill who crossed seamlessly between opera and
Musical Theatre. Still regarded by opera buffs as one if not the best recording of this
beautiful duet. I have performed this opera and have to admit that unlike Carmen where
every aria is memorable, the Pearl Fishers (set in Sri Lanka or Ceylon as it was then
known) does not have much else to lift it up to the heights. This aria, however, makes up
for that slight failing.

For our brass players especially, two contrasting but nevertheless great performances.
Firstly the testosterone-full playing of Elseban Batallan and the Hercules Brass
Ensemble of "Granada". Then contrast with the melodic and lyrical playing in a great
performance of the Medley from West Side Story performed by "tenThing Brass
Ensemble". I certainly enjoyed both performances while appreciating the contrasting
approaches to performance. I wonder if the men had ever heard of mutes?!!

Lastly for all, but especially our strings the Jasper and Jupiter string quartets performing
the extraordinary Felix Mendelssohn String Octet. This piece he wrote at the age of
16 revising only a small number of bars before publishing it 7 years later. This is such
a remarkable work that just gets better and better with each movement. In my
humble opinion one of the greatest works for strings of all time.

To finish back to front, Glinka's "Overture to Ruslan and Ludmilla". There are many fine
recordings of this on YouTube but I especially enjoyed a young Taiwanese orchestra
the "Evergreen Symphony Orchestra" that certainly perform with high precision
and verve.

6th April 2020

Dear WHO friends,
I hope this week's communication finds you well and still in good spirits. I find music
a great balm in difficult times and setting aside a specific time to listen, watch and
really immerse oneself in an uplifting performance of timeless genius extremely
I have chosen appropriately J S Bach's Easter Oratorio. YouTube have a stunning
performance conducted by John Eliot Gardiner with the English Baroque Players
and the Monteverdi choir. This is an historic performance from a 2013 Prom Concert
at the Royal Albert Hall in London, which if you have been fortunate to visit, drips
musical history. I was fortunate to play there with the Menuhin Youth Orchestra
in the 70's. The broadcast begins with an interesting short interview with Gardiner
followed by an historic performance on original instruments. Not only are all brass,
woodwind and timpani of the time, but all string members perform on original
instruments, either of the period or replicas. Note the baroque bows and the technique
of holding near the point of balance.

Put aside three quarters of an hour and really enjoy this performance.

For those of you who may have altered plans for travel this year, music can transport
one to other places. Look up Songs of the Auvergne number two sung by Dame Kiri
Te Kanawa pictorially accompanied by a series of beautiful paintings. Don't be
sheepish about watching it while listening to one of the great voices of our time. If you
enjoy, listen to the others.

29th March 2020

Dear WHO friends,
Here is a programme for this week:

Rossini overture
La Gazza Ladra performed by Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice and conducted by
Daniel Harding 45 year old conductor of the Swedish Radio Orchestra and Mahler
Chamber Orchestra. Started off as a trumpeter (forgiven for that!) and a wonderful
younger conductor. Enjoy the sumptuous hall, great photography and
brilliant playing.

Then enjoy a recording by the Halle orchestra of Brahms Symphony No1 third and
fourth movements from February 17th 2014 conducted by Markus Stenz, well known
here for his time with the MSO. Halle of course is a famous English orchestra based in
Manchester with past conductors Sir John Barbirolli, Sir Adrian Boult, Mark Elder and even Elgar to name a few. Some wonderful solo wind playing. Full of energy musical
nuance. One of the stories of Barbirolli is that in the middle of a northern English winter
he would insist on all percussion and Brass accompanying the orchestra on train trips
to neighbouring cities often an hour by unheated train away to just perform the National
Anthem in an all Mozart programme or the like. He was greatly loved by
those players. Not!

Lastly introducing brilliant pianist Hercules Gomes playing Gershwin second
Rhapsody. Look up his performances of music of Ernesto Nazareth a spectacular
performance of Brazilian Music of which Gomes is regarded as a leading exponent.

Whitehorse Orchestra at Mooroolbark, 3rd July 2016

Whitehorse Orchestra at MLC, 8th April 2017