★★★★½

A night of music across the spectrum, climaxing on a surprising note with Schoenberg's beast – Verklärkte Nacht.

Review of TRACES AND TRANSFORMATIONS, at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music
7.30pm Saturday July 27, 2019
Townsville Civic Theatre

Reviewed by Shirley Zhu on July 30, 2019

Next up was the incredibly technical sonata Traces for piano and cello by 25-year-old Connor D’Netto, this year’s Composer in Residence. Performed by Kathryn Stott and Timo-Veikko Valve, it consisted of groovy, upbeat rhythms, unconventional chords and, occasionally, completely lunatic key changes. D’Netto is a young genius working “at the peak of his talents” as Lawrence put it. The two-movement work heavily relied on its placement of accents, and explored combinations of possible textures available in both instruments from plucking with running piano arpeggios to syncopated chords and motor rhythms with harmonics. This work of power and imagination was made even more exciting by Valve and Stott’s incredibly clean and focussed execution. However, special credit must go to Stott (AFCM’s Artistic Director), who over the opening two nights had already performed three, now four, works of immense technical difficulty and intensity.