The Annual

 Glebe Music Festival

In conjunction with The Glebe Society Inc

The 14th Annual Glebe Music Festival
8 to 23 November 2003

National anthems cause amusement and offence

Thank you to everyone in the Glebe Society for your staunch support of the Glebe Music Festival which drew to a close with an uplifting performance by Sydney Chamber Brass at St Scholastica's. This included the world premier of 'Unrest' by Miguel Heatwole.

I mention national anthems because, living in London, the only recent news from Australia was of the gaffe at the Davis Cup tennis final: they played the "wrong" Spanish national anthem. The Glebe Music Festival Great Hall concert concluded with a rendition of God Save the King 1830s style, enough to leave some standing and some sitting. At Margaretta Cottage, the internationally renowned English harpsichordist Douglas Hollick produced a bawdy and irreverent version of Marche des Marseillois et l'Air Ça-Ira (1792) which would have been enough to have the composer, Balbastre, beheaded.

The Great Hall concert was fascinating in that it was a recreation of repertoire which may have been presented by the Sydney Philharmonic Society in the 1830s. Claire Thornley, in her colloquium address, described the struggle to keep the society alive in that early flowering of Sydney's cultural life. We heard music by Rossini, Dr Callcott, the Earl of Mornington, Dussek, Rode, Auber, Mayseder and others, but the most remarkable sound was surely that of the ophicléide played by the world famous Nick Byrne.

Helen Barnett and David Miller at a second Margaretta Cottage concert performed Grieg's Seks Sange Op. 48, their trance-like atmosphere temporarily punctured by the hammering rhythms of Prokofiev's second String Quartet, but restored by the eponymous Arcadia Trio in Beethoven's Piano Trio in E flat Major.

Gleebooks generously offered their space for the Andean Dreams concert which, with a profusion of Latin American instruments and rhythms, wandered as far as Mexico and Brazil, with traditional and newly composed music. And, yes, there was dancing in the aisles! Finally, Bel a Cappella under the baton of Matthew Wood adopted a seasonal pose at St Scholastica's with Mess de minuit sur les airs de Noël by Charpentier along with other Christmas music.

Thank you to all the performers, and thanks to the audiences and helpers. The feature of the 15th Glebe Music Festival in 2004 will be concerts by identical twin Hungarian guitarists, the Katona Duo.

Past Events
The Musicians
The Venue
The Instruments