Internationally renowned Italian harpist Elisabetta Ghebbioni was joined by local musicians in a most enjoyable chamber music concert in the Art Gallery of Ballarat this week. Ghebbioni is well-known to patrons of the Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields Festival and will perform again there next January.
The program was a blend of mostly well-loved works in arrangements for various combinations, allowing each instrumentalist to take the spotlight.
Opening with a solo harp arrangement of Granada, by Albeniz, Ghebbioni was joined by violist Lawrie Jacks in Ravel's "Pavane pour une enfante defunte" and the "Intermezzo" from Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana". 'Cellist Miriam Kriss provided excellent melodic lines in 'cello and harp arrangements of "The Swan" of Saint-Saens and "Song of the Black Swan" of Villa-Lobos, while violinist Nicci Dellar made a solid contribution with Elgar's "Chanson de Nuit" and "Chanson de Matin".
While the program rarely moved out of the performers comfort zone the delivery was first class.
The first violin/'cello duet of Beethoven was the most substantial work of the evening, with its broad narrative clearly understood. But the mood of the concert was summed up in the final work, Caccini's "Ave Maria", with the four musicians thoroughly enjoying their presentation of this popular lyrical piece.