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Brisbane review – QSO Heartland Classics: bold, captivating, and strong

By Nahima Abraham

Heartland Classics

Presented by the QSO

Conducted by Otto Tausk QPAC Concert Hall

South Bank

Sergey Khachatryan

There is nothing more exquisite than surrounding your senses with music. A bold statement for sure, but music is a universal phenomenon that everyone enjoys, no matter what creed, age, or class.

Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s Heartland Classics is testament to this enduring love for all things music. Curated with care, and with great attention to detail, this performance oozed panache and delight. The concert began with Kodály’s Dances of Galanta, a complex and refreshing piece that was charming and sentimental, handled with an expert grace by the QSO. For them, nothing is too old, dated, or insignificant. TThey created a magical union with Zoltán Kodály and air. Something about the Eastern European composers echoes a wonderful, light melancholic feeling, peppered with exotic notes and almost sacred turns of phrase. The clarinet was the star here, harkening back to folkish origins long forgotten.

Mendelssohn was up next. And what a performance. Featuring the star of the show, Sergey Khachatryan, whose eerie performance likened to Paganini-esque levels of virtuosity, brought to the concert hall stage a skill and adoration for his instrument that was unparalleled to any in that hall. His skill was elegant, his Curriculum Vitae impressive, and Mendelssohn’s Concerto in E minor shone like gold, its music reverberating around the space, through the audience watching with bated breath. It was a special performance, only made by the resident conductor for the evening, Otto Tausk. His vivacity and energy brought the wild undertones of the program to heel.

At last, once the audience’s enthusiasm for Khachatryan died down, the pièce de resistance began. Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 in D minor. This was what everyone was waiting for. This symphony was bold, captivating, and strong. The music shone bright and clear through the complicated textures and themes that were woven into the composition. It’s hardly a wonder that QSO did it again, they have always been the royalty on the scene.


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