From Rio to Paris

You may have heard of Music among the Vines but on last Sunday we had Music in the Barrel Room, and beautiful music it was, in a delightful setting.

Kay Brothers in McLaren Vale, was founded by Herbert and Frederick Kay in 1890 and is still in the founding family hands, giving it a sense of early history while being up-to-date. The cellar door is positioned on the side of a slope so that one can look across an expanse of green grass backed by small hills while sitting at a table and sampling wine. 

Their Barrel Room, part of the working winery, where their fortified wines are now stored is Heritage listed. The walls are constructed with stones from the winery estate, and are covered in limestone and myrtle. The white walls, wooden floor, discreet lighting and a sense of timelessness  is all designed to soothe the most restless of spirits. 

It was here that Lee Song-Ou and Oliver Fartach-Naini wove their own particular magic. Both are established  and successful international artists, but as duo guitarists they bring another dimension to their music, fruit of decades of performing and recording together, including many works which have been composed specifically for them.

Oliver Fartch-Naini

Much has been written about their beautifully balanced and nuanced sounds. In the juxtaposition of rhythm, harmonies, melodic line and a clarity that allows each instrument to be heard as an equal partner, they delighted the audience with music composed by Dilermando Reis, Fernando Sor, Hyewon Lee and Napoleon Costa,  Of special interest, however, were the pieces by composers Ian Seaborn and Stephen Whittington, both of whom were in the audience and who took time to talk briefly about their compositions. 

Lee Song-Ou and Stephen Whittington

A Day in Rio by Ian Seaborn  reflected colour and  romance  from dawn to sunset ending with a joyous Carnaval Night.

Stephen Whittingon’s two Interludes minuet antique ȧ la manière de M.R  and Pastorale  revealed a subtle, delicate at times, but at other times spirited Parisian flavour.

The weather was perfect, which added to the total enjoyment of the recital, plus a complementary glass of wine. This was music shared and enjoyed, differing from orchestral concerts and grand opera, but as satisfying in its own way.

Kay Brothers use their Barrel Room for concerts of many genres and it is worth checking their 

Oliver Fartach-Naini and Lee  Song-Ou have recorded five CDs under various labels, including Deutsche Grammaphon and Ethnoclassics.

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