Sunday, April 13, 2014
Ironwood, the acclaimed period-instrument chamber ensemble from Australia, brings new luster to the music of Brahms and his circle. Their program includes the beloved f minor piano quintet, g minor quartet, and other pieces by Brahms’ friends.
Robin Wilson, Rachael Beesley, violins; Nicole Forsyth, viola; Daniel Yeadon, cello; Neal Peres da Costa, fortepiano.
Memorial Art Gallery Auditorium, 4:00pm (Pre-concert talk at 3:15pm)
Ironwood is an Australian-based ensemble, committed to exploring music of the baroque, classical and romantic periods on early string and keyboard instruments. The members are some of Australia’s most respected early and contemporary chamber musicians: Robin Wilson, Rachael Beesley, Julia Fredersdorff & Alice Evans (violin); Nicole Forsyth (viola); Daniel Yeadon (cello) and Neal Peres Da Costa (harpsichord/fortepiano/historic pianoforte). The ensemble was established in 2006 as a flexible group of players, drawing on a wealth of experience from across the globe. Ironwood believes that historically informed performance should be complemented with new material and has an active commissioning program for music on early instruments. The group performs widely and has produced recordings for ABC Classics and Vexations840. Ironwood has been 2007-2012 artists-in-residence at the Bundanon Trust, NSW, and also run a Developing Artists program for early music in Victoria and NSW.
Ironwood’s most recent project has been exploring the music of the 19th century Romantic composers Brahms and Schumann. Their research has focused on evidence of string and keyboard performing practices preserved in written texts and early sound recordings emanating from Brahms, his circle and the German school. They employ practices, such as portamento, a narrower-style of vibrato (used ornamentally), dislocation, arpeggiation, various types of rhythmic alteration and tempo modification, that were indispensable in late-nineteenth-century performances, and that reveal these composers in their true colors. They presented at the American Brahms Conference in New York in 2012 and have performed the Brahms f-minor quintet to great acclaim.