We like to keep things cosy!
When Brandenburg superstar Melissa Farrow was starting on the path to becoming the magnificent flautist she is today, she took lessons from Brandenburg alumni Howard Oberg at the Sydney Conservatorium. Howard performed with the Brandenburg in the 1990s and taught flute and traverso at the Con. Howard's daughter Mikaela would often accompany him to these lessons.
Fast-forward ten years and it was Melissa's turn as mentor, with Mikaela Oberg as student! Melissa and Mikaela have performed together with the Brandenburg since Mikaela joined in 2005, which means they have shared the Brandenburg stage over 100 times! They have developed a beautiful repartee based on mutual respect and admiration for each other's work, as well as a shared wicked sense of humour.
In Blazing Baroque Melissa and Mikaela will perform Telemann's Concerto in E minor for traverso & recorder, we asked Melissa what makes this piece so special:
"This Telemann concerto is one of my all-time favourite pieces of music, introduced to me by Howard Oberg in early music chamber music at the Sydney Con.
"It was unusual to have both flute and recorder paired together as soloists in the 18th century, partly due to the different ways the instruments speak - the flute far less direct and ‘bitey’ than the recorder. Here Telemann finds a wonderful balance between the two playing harmoniously together in the opening Largo, weaving them in and out of the spotlight in the fugal Allegro, into a plaintive Largo in E major and ending with a feisty Presto, a Polish hanaque dance in rondo form.
"It is wonderfully moody music. It’s interesting to read Mattheson's explanation of the meanings of the tonalities chosen by Telemann for this work. The e minor tonality of the first 2 movements, according to Mattheson represents grief and deep thought, even in the fugal second movement it is quick, virtuosic for both flute and recorder but not cheerful . E major, the key of the third movement Largo expresses despair and amongst other things, helplessness. The wonderful final Presto, with its strong Polish influence returns to e minor. But Telemann, in his autobiography of 1718 writes ' ...Now a Polish song makes the whole world dance, so I need no care to bring it to an end'."
Don’t miss your chance to experience baroque brilliance by modern baroque stars!