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13 May, 2014

Selby & Friends concert at Chevalier College – serious music-making before dinner.

High culture in the Highlands!  All Beethoven concert. 
We were treated to two hours of world-class chamber music on Saturday 10th May.  5pm is an excellent time for such a concert. 
Three musicians regaled us with a pair of Beethoven pieces before a brief intermission and another two afterwards, finishing just after 7pm.  Kathryn Selby is a dazzlingly talented pianist and was accompanied by virtuoso Sydney violinist Susie Park and Finnish ‘cellist Mr ‘Tipi’ Valve, both internationally acclaimed and with good reason.  These three played together such that Ludwig van Beethoven, if he reappeared and recovered his hearing, would be rightly pleased.  
We had brief introductions by each player explaining details of the composer’s three distinct periods as well as some humorous anecdotes about his life, from a difficult childhood to a serious breakdown in later life.  The first and last items were trios supplemented by two sonata ‘duos’.  The pieces dated from Beethoven’s early years in Bonn to his mature period in Vienna, the last after two years when he ceased composing, only to return to work as productive and inventive as ever.  With his unique and era-changing style, Leonard Bernstein said that Beethoven showed an ‘inexplicable ability to know what the next note had to be’ in his music.  
We are fortunate that Ms Selby chooses to include the Highlands in her bi-monthly tours which also take in Sydney, Turramurra, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide.  The hall was almost full on the two occasions I have attended, hence late tickets would still have been available (and there are no ‘bad’ seats in this comfortable school hall).  
I hope this is of interest to readers and I highly recommend the next concert on 28th June.
Written by Andrew Byrne ..