It was a delight to spend a weekend by the Murray to attend three of the seven concerts in the third annual Albury Chamber Music Festival. Involving several of our top ensembles as well as talented local musicians, the festival was organised and curated by its Director, the Venerable Father Peter MacLeod-Miller, and Artistic Director, pianist Helena Kernaghan. Festival Patron Nance Grant was present, as were His Excellency General the Hon. David Hurley, Governor of NSW, and Mrs Hurley.
The opening concert took the form of a sampler (or ‘tasting plate’, as the Archdeacon described it) for upcoming concerts. The Flinders Quartet, whose excellent recording of Sibelius String Quartets I reviewed in Limelight, played two short pieces by Felix Mendelssohn, the Scherzo Op. 81, No 2 in A Minor. and Capriccio, Op. 81, No 3. Rarely performed, these pieces display all the composer’s fingerprints: the Scherzo bears a strong rhythmic resemblance to the scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, while the brisk counterpoint in the longer Capriccio reminds us of the composer’s debt to Bach. The Flinders plunged in with panache, a tantalising preview of what was to come.