Despite the continuing lockdowns, the adaptability and optimism of performers have enabled concert performances and the Arts to persist and flourish in Queensland. Ensemble Q 2021 season has been cut back dramatically, with a national tour for Musica Viva and several insterstate performances scrapped. And of course there were inevitable changes to this program, which was to have featured mezzo-soprano Lotte Betts-Dean, who is still in London and will instead perform in 2022, and Ravel’s Piano Trio was also replaced with Mozart’s delicious Clarinet Quintet. But what turned out to be their final concert for 2021 was an uplifting and joyous occasion.

Ensemble Q

Ensemble Q. Image © Peter Wallis

The six movements of Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin were each dedicated to a friend of the composer’s who had died during the First World War. The composer arranged four of the movements for orchestra even before the piano version had been performed, and here we heard Paul Dean’s own arrangement of the orchestration. Starting with a delicious oboe in the Prelude by Huw Jones, the oboe returns to lead a jaunty Menuet with a rustic folk style. There was also...