The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra specialises in the music of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteen centuries (primarily what is called baroque orchestral music) and has a mission to spread this beautiful repertoire into more regional Australia as well as performing in the capital cities. Dmitry Sinkovsky is a Russian musician who trained in classical violin before specialising in Baroque.
The orchestra started strongly by themselves in the Aubert. Paul Dyer (Artistic Director) roused the orchestral troops admirably from the Harpsichord, however the solo violin parts were a little subdued for all their dexterity.
Dmitry Sinkovsky joined the orchestra next for the Telemann and immediately injected a controlled yet potent energy with his playing and his direction. The Concerto for Violin 'per Signor Pisendel' gave ample opportunity to showcase Telemann's style, with slow lyrical, strongly rhythmic and exciting rapid passages, all highlighting the skill of Sinkovsky's violin playing.
Next was a very interesting Vivaldi Concerto for two horns (the original valveless type that are fiendishly difficult to play) with a beautifully executed solo for cello with theorbo in the second movement. Then Sinkovsky returned for a Leclair violin concerto that contained much virtuosic playing by the soloist, impressively accompanied by the orchestra, whose reading of and response to the soloist seemed much more attuned than in the (apparently easier) Telemann.
After the interval came two pieces by Locatelli with a more operatic feel to them. Sinkovsky forced the audience to hold their breath for the softest of playing and extended pauses in the Concerto Gross (E flat major), and his aptitude for Counter Tenor seemed embodied in the violin. The orchestra also gave a dramatic performance without him in the Introduttioni Teatrali and then he returned for the final piece: a Vivaldi violin concerto. This again illustrated the soloist's supreme technical ability (as well as musicality) and the wonderful continuo playing of the orchestra's lead cellist.
It was a demanding programme, with Dyer's boundless and gushing enthusiasm matched and complemented by the more serious and highly potent focus of Sinkovsky. The members of the orchestra were genuinely smiling (they seem to subscribe to ostentatiously demonstrating their enjoyment at times – maybe sensible in an iTunes dominated age) and the audience enthusiastic, so there were two encores. For the second Sinkovsky announced he would sing and gave the most exquisite rendition of 'Dove Sei' from Handel's 'Rodalinda' - just in case you thought the singing part of the "singing violin" was an indulgence or marketing ploy!
Whether you want to extend your baroque experience beyond the famous easy-listening tunes or are a baroque buff with a thorough knowledge of the vast repertoire, keep an eye out for the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra's next concert programme; and go to concerts so that more phenomenal musicians like Sinkovsky put Brisbane on their tour schedule!