Darlington Chamber Music Spring Festival: Perth Hills alive with spring music


Left: WA soprano Sara Macliver. Right: Darlington String Quartet members Sally Boud, Semra-Lee Smith and Jon Tooby.
Darlington Chamber Music Spring Festival: Perth Hills alive with spring music
Left: WA soprano Sara Macliver. Right: Darlington String Quartet members Sally Boud, Semra-Lee Smith and Jon Tooby.

MUSIC aficionados are being enticed to the Hills for a weekend of fine music in historic locations as part of the inaugural Darlington Chamber Music Spring Festival.

Headlining the three concert series is WA soprano Sara Macliver, who will deliver an evening performance at Guildford Grammar’s historic Edwardian Gothic chapel on October 22.

Artistic director Jon Tooby said Macliver was regarded as one of the nation’s leading exponents of the baroque repertoire.

“There is no question, she is very unique,” he said.

“She has a very pure sound that is almost angelic, making Guildford’s stunning chapel an amazing, resonant space for her style.”

Tooby said Macliver’s rich voice was the perfect vehicle for performing signature pieces by Respighi and Vivaldi.

“Vivaldi’s Nulla in mundo pax sincera is considered to be one of his most beautiful solo motets,” he said.

“Brahms’ music is texturally very rich and his String Sextet in G Minor is a very pure chamber classic.

“Brahms had an uncanny ability to capture almost every emotion in his music.”

Prior to Macliver’s performance, there will be an intimate morning concert at Darlington’s picturesque stone church, St Cuthbert’s. The much-acclaimed Darlington String Quartet will perform pieces by Haydn, Janacek and Mendelssohn.

The final concert, at the Hills vineyard of Darlington Estate Winery on Sunday, October 23, will treat guests to Schubert’s beloved Trout Quintet, accompanied by a feast prepared by the chefs.

Tooby said it would be a fitting finale to a memorable weekend.

“Schubert’s peerless Trout Quintet is melodic genius and possibly the most famous of all chamber music,” he said.

“It’s just a whole lot of fun to play and hear and will really suit the atmosphere of the lunch.”

Tooby said the spring festival was the perfect excuse to book a B&B and stay in the Hills for the weekend.

“The Hills are gorgeous in the spring with abundant wildflowers, the creeks are flowing and there is a plethora of cafes, galleries and walking trails to discover,” he said.