Absolute Ensemble / Adelaide Symphony Orchestra @ Adelaide Town Hall
8:00pm, Tue 9 Mar 2004
Short Review: Punchy
It’s easy to tell the members of the ASO and the Absolute Ensemble apart – the former turn up to work in their standard black presentation garb, the latter wear whatever they feel like… which creates an interesting dress aesthetic onstage.
Not that it detracts from the music, oh no. Blood on the Floor is a moody, punchy piece of music – the Prologue was a particularly brutal, stabbing introduction, Shout was exploded into an aggressive piece, and Sweet & Decay was everything it claimed to be. The closing piece, Dispelling the Fears, was ominous; and throughout, Absolute’s Kristjan Jarvi conducted with aplomb.
The problem I had with Blood on the Floor is that the string section was inactive for about half the performance – indeed, Needles seemed to be more oriented towards a jazz/funk fusion band than an orchestra. ASO equals strings to me, so this was a bit of a bummer. Still, the oomph provided by the decorative ends to each piece were compensation enough.