They call this “The Underground Series”, and you can immediately see why. These recitals are held in The Raven Cellar in Brisbane’s West End, a far more visually interesting space than the typical concert hall.
It also allows for an incredibly up-close and personal performance (we were seated maybe two meters away from the performers), which, of course, is what you want for chamber music. It does have some disadvantages in that sometimes you could hear chatter from the bar upstairs, but it also felt a bit like a secret, private concert, which, given the intimate nature of the gig, maybe it was.
This was an unusual performance of Bach’s famous Goldberg Variations BWV 988 in a transcription by Dmitry Sitkovetsky, who has made transcribing Bach something of a speciality. Here the performers were Adam Chalabi (violin), Imants Larsens (viola), and cellist Trish Dean – and I’ll tell you what, they made a pretty solid case for string trio Goldberg.
The famous opening Aria began with a rich, almost viol-like tone from the trio. Immediately it was apparent that...