On Tuesday 3 March 2020 CCP was honoured to feature in the pre concert, playing a movement of Brahms String Quartet No.3 in Bb. The Collins St Baptist Church with its wonderful acoustics was a joy to play in, and hearing the performance by the Flinders Quartet of Derek Brookes music inspired by Haiku poetry expanded our horizons.
Mt Buller summer school
Castlemaine Chamber Players performing at a cocktail concert
In 2020 the famous Mt Buller Chamber Music Summer School was held at Candlebark Farm, Healesville, due to the bushfire risk at Mt Buller. It was simultaneously hard work and loads of fun. We played chamber music for hours every day, taking masterclasses with outstanding Australian and New Zealand string players, playing in concerts for our peers and receiving feedback.
We had masterclasses with outstanding musicians and then rehearsed intensively, finding ever-increasing intimacy and warmth in our sound. This year’s six tutors were unfailingly helpful.
Wilma Smith, violin, co-artistic director – Wilma and Friends; Flinders Quartet Elinor Lea, violin, co-artistic director – Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Gillian Ansell, viola – New Zealand String Quartet Michael Dahlenberg, cello – Melbourne Chamber Orchestra Tobias Lea, viola – Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Anna Pokorny, cello – Freelance player with Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony
Castlemaine Chamber Players takes you on an emotional journey with their passionate performance of these masterworks.
Beethoven and Shostakovich each wrote 15 or more quartets, and these are from the middle period of both composers’ careers.
Beethoven’s Opus 59 Rasumovsky quartets were written in 1805, around the time of his third symphony, the Eroica. You’ll hear the symphonic influence in this quartet.
Shostakovich’s Opus 8 quartet, with poignant personal slow movements and a furious driving fast Allegro, was written in only three days. Dedicated to the victims of Fascism and war, it’s autobiographical, with quotes from earlier works, and his musical signature as the theme, D-Eb-C-B.
The Castlemaine Chamber Players are Sasha Bronstein and Heather Cummins, violin, Frances Gall, viola and Elisabeth Anderson, cello. The majority live in Castlemaine, where they have given several concerts, and now look forward to playing in Clunes as well as Castlemaine this year.
The group was formed in 2014 and performs a wide range of music for string quartet and other string ensembles. Previous concerts with guest performers featured Mozart’s quintets and the two string sextets by Brahms. They also like performing contemporary Australian compositions, and have commissioned music by Castlemaine composer Wendy Rowlands.
“It was a joy and a privilege to hear Castlemaine Chamber Players perform Brahms’ Sextets 1 and 2, both in just over a month. Yesterday I found myself immersed often in that lush, complex, entwined, melodious and moving ‘Brahms sound’, with you all barely a few metres away! I’d blink and find myself in Romsey. Rather stunning actually.” – Ruth Williams, Cope-Williams Concert, Romsey
On Saturday 25th May at Buda the Chamber Players performed one of Brahms’ string quartets and several contemporary Australian works.
We continued our obsession with Brahms’ chamber music, this time playing his String Quartet in B flat, Opus 67. This is a mature work in four movements overflowing with melodies, rich harmonies and rhythmic invention.
This contrasted with contemporary compositions by Australian composers. We played Eliza’s Aria and Blue Rose by Elena Kats-Chernin, Reggie’s Quartet by Andrea Keeble, and a new arrangement of Besame Mucho, composed especially for us by Wendy Rowlands.
The Garden Room of Buda Historic House, 42 Hunter St, Castlemaine.
Castlemaine Chamber Players performed Mozart’s String Quintet in C. This is one of Mozart’s two-viola quintets, and joining the Chamber Players was violist Olivia Forsberg from Melbourne. The program also included ‘Un poco allegretto’ by Brahms from his second string quintet, a romantic piece in both senses of the word, based on the Viennese waltz. The concert took place in Buda’s Garden Room and was well-attended despite clashing with the Royal wedding!
The Chamber Players enjoyed demonstrating the results of their January attendance at the Mt Buller Chamber Music Summer School, where they worked intensively with players from the Merlin Ensemble of Brisbane as well as Caroline Henbest, viola, and Patrick Murphy, cello.
This concert followed the Chamber Players’ previous performance of Mozart’s Quintet in G minor. Both quintets were composed in Mozart’s late period, within a few months of each other in 1787. They are major works by Mozart, each with four exquisite contrasting movements that demonstrate Mozart’s mastery of the chamber music form.
Sunday 21st May, 2017 Two performances – 3pm & 7pm 2 Edward St. Castlemaine
Chamber music in the drawing room of one of Castlemaine’s historic homes. The Players warm strings and versatility in performance of the amazing Mozart string quintet in G minor, a Tango or Two, and songs of Gershwin and Berlin, sung by Sasha Bronshtein with quartet accompaniment.
These concerts supported the Players attendance at the Mt Buller Chamber Music Summer School.