Evoke | Beethoven & Berwald

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Presented by Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra


Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra present a program of gorgeous Romantic chamber music that celebrates the tonal contrast between woodwind and string instruments

About this concert

The early years of the nineteenth century saw a surge in popularity for works composed for larger chamber ensembles of winds and strings, of which Beethoven’s Septet in E-flat, Op.20, was considered the very peak of the genre. So successful was it that publishers released multiple arrangements of it for different-sized ensembles, prompting Beethoven to write his own arrangement for clarinet, cello and piano – his Op. 38, the piece you will hear in this program. The piece loses none of its complexity in its revoicing, with an arrangement so natural and convincing it sounds like it could have been written for these forces.

Influenced by Beethoven’s Septet, and with a clear inheritance from other composers like Schubert, Spohr and Weber, the delightful Grand Septet by Swedish composer Franz Berwald is an inspired work by an often-overlooked composer. Building on short thematic fragments that often mimic village tunes and dances, there is some innovative writing at play – listen how the second movement features a scherzo in the middle of an adagio! But it’s not all sweetness and light, as occasional harmonic twists hint at tensions that never fully resolve.

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Ludwig van Beethoven
3 Equali, WoO 30
Trio in E-flat, Op.38 for clarinet, violoncello and fortepiano (after Septet, Op.20)

Franz Berwald
Grand Septet in B-flat for clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, violoncello and double bass


Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra
Nicole van Bruggen clarinet
Jackie Newcomb bassoon
Rachael Beesley violin
Simon Oswell viola
Daniel Yeadon violoncello
Robert Nairn double bass
Neal Peres da Costa fortepiano
Nigel Crocker trombone
Roslyn Jorgensen trombone
Brett Page trombone
Scott Kinmont trombone


This production is part of the following series: