The newly formed Téada Orchestra presented a night of stringed works on a stage not usually associated with classical music. Whereas you might expect to hear works by Britten and Rimsky-Korsakov in a concert hall, this concert was in an altogether more low key environment. The uneven brickwork of the walls of South Studios and wooden floor, as well as the complimentary drink on arrival and a “bring your own booze” policy meant that proceedings were never too formal. The relaxed ambiance was reinforced by the orchestra’s dress code; a mix of some players smartly attired with neat hair, others in casual dress.
Elliot Murphy’s Ar Na Coillte San Fhomhair begins the concert, and its opening of bridge playing and extended string techniques created an abstract sound in keeping with the atmosphere. A traditional air played by solo violin (Tim Doyle) rings out over this, dictating the metre and organizing the abstract sounds in what is a simple yet effective concept. The other composition by a member of the orchestra, Anna Clifford’s Celestial was more complex. A drone effect from saxophones, strings, four voices and rattling from drums moves towards a more melodious section before becoming utterly frantic and then winding down to a similar drone to finish.
Elsewhere, there was a performance of excerpts of Bartók’s 44 Duos For Two Violins, though played here on two cellos, as well as more demanding pieces by the above composers. Téada state that their orchestra is a collective of players from classical, traditional and jazz backgrounds, and perhaps some in the orchestra were more at ease with the more challenging repertoire than others. At times the orchestra was a bit heavy for the intimate venue – however, conductor Mathew Rafter assuredly guided his well rehearsed orchestra through the evening. The highlight of the evening was the performance of the First Movement of Grieg’s String Quartet In G Minor by the Évasion Quartet, who played this energetic work with vigour and spirit. The positive reception from a largely under thirty audience and the fact that people were forced to stand due to the high attendance would indicate that the approach of the Téada Orchestra is proving popular and their future is bright.
Elliot Murphy – Ar Na Coillte San Fhomhair In Éireann
Béla Bartok – Excerpts From 44 Duos For Two Violins
Paul Hindemith – Trauermusik
Edvard Grieg – String Quartet In G Minor: Un Poco Andante
Anna Clifford – Celestial
Benjamin Britten – Simple Symphony
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov – Russian Easter Overture