Ariel Ensemble

May Concert

Ariel Ensemble

Sylvie Leprohon (flute) – Stephen Robinson (oboe) –

Kathryn Pisani (piano)

Sunday 5 May 2013, 2pm Wyselaskie Auditorium 29 College Crescent, Parkville

Meet the Artists

Ariel Ensemble (flute, oboe and piano)

Sylvie Leprohon (flute) grew up in Quebec, Canada and graduated from the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal. Scholarships from the Canada Council enabled her to study in Europe, first in Zürich with André Jaunet and then with Aurèle Nicolet in Freiburg, Germany where she completed a post-graduate degree. Through her participation in Masterclasses, Sylvie has had substantial contact with other major flautists such as William Bennet, James Galway, Maxence Larrieu and Raymond Guiot. In 1983 after spending some years performing and teaching in Europe, Sylvie came to Australia and has led an active musical life first in Brisbane and since 1984 in Melbourne. She has played flute and piccolo with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, the Australian Pops Orchestra and the State Orchestra of Victoria. Since 1992, Sylvie has developed a career as chamber musician and soloist. She has performed with many ensembles such as Ensemble Variante, Trio Vivace and Ariel Ensemble. Sylvie teaches flute at Monash University, Genazzano FCJ College and Kilvington Grammar.

Stephen Robinson (oboe) is Principal Oboist of Orchestra Victoria. He was born in Melbourne and studied at the University of Melbourne, the Victorian College of the Arts, and the Musikhochschule Freiburg with the renowned oboist Heinz Holliger. Stephen has been Guest Solo Oboist with I Solisti Veneti and has held positions in the Queensland Theatre Orchestra and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed as principal oboist with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. As a member of Australia’s acclaimed contemporary music ensemble Elision, he has played at festivals throughout the world and has performed with the European chamber group Ensemble Modern. Stephen’s CD Bright Vessel featuring first recordings of Australian oboe works by composers such as Richard Mills, Larry Sitsky and Elena Kats-Chernin was released on the Tall Poppies label in 2009.

“… a wonderfully innovative recital of contemporary Australian works.” The Age.

Stephen lectures in oboe at the University of Melbourne, Monash University and the

Victorian College of the Arts. He is a founding member of the wind chamber group Melbourne Windpower.

Kathryn Pisani (piano) After studies with Robert Chamberlain, Mack Jost and

Roger Heagney, Kathryn graduated from the Australian Catholic University with a Bachelor of Music with Honours, majoring in piano performance and specialising in accompaniment and ensemble playing. Since that time, Kathryn has had considerable experience accompanying singers and instrumentalists in a repertoire ranging from medieval to contemporary, has performed for the University of Melbourne, the VCA and ACU, worked as a repetiteur in opera and musical theatre productions and taught at a number of leading Melbourne schools. Kathryn has a long history of working with choirs, most notably with the Australian Youth Choir, with whom she toured overseas three times, including performances at Carnegie Hall and for HRH Prince Edward. She is currently repetiteur for the Heidelberg Choral Society. As a singer, Kathryn has sung with Melbourne’s leading early music choir Ensemble Gombert since 2004.


Jean Baptiste Loeillet Trio sonata in F Major

(1680-1730)                       Largo



Allegro (tempo di minuetto)

Walter Leigh                   Trio for Flute, Oboe and Piano (1935)

(1905-1942)                       Allegro



Elena Kats-Chernin        Charmer’s Apprentice for oboe and piano (2002)


Eugène Goossens           Pastorale et Arlequinade Op. 41

(1893-1962)                       Andante con moto



Ignaz Moscheles             Concertino for flute and oboe

(1794-1870)                     Adagio/Allegretto grazioso

William Mathias             Sonatina op.98 for flute and piano

1934-1992)                        Allegro ritmico

Andante cantabile

Allegro vivace

Philippe Gaubert           Tarentelle for flute, oboe and piano


**After the concert you are invited to meet the artists over light refreshments**

Program Notes

Jean-Baptiste Loeillet (1680-1730) also known as John of London came from a Flemish family of musicians. At an early age, he became proficient on the harpsichord, the flute and the oboe. In 1705, Loeillet joined the first operatic orchestra in London at the Queen’s Theatre where he played the oboe as well as the flute when required.

Five years later, Loeillet retired from the orchestra and devoted his career to teaching and composing. He composed a great quantity of work for flute and helped popularise the instrument. It has been said that Loeillet introduced the transverse flute to England. Loeillet’s writing shows distinct traces of Italian influences as well as the use of French style ornamentation. The slow movements in particular are rich in charm and grace.

Walter Leigh (1905-1942) was an English composer. He graduated from

Cambridge University in 1926 and then went to study composition with Paul Hindemith in Berlin. Leigh wrote a few chamber music works but composed mainly music for documentary films as well as plays.

This trio was written for the Sylvan Trio comprising John Francis, his wife Millicent Silver and their daughter Sarah Francis. The first movement is energetic and shows clearly the influence of Hindemith with its strong structure and firm rhythmical qualities. The middle slow movement is lyrical with rich harmony and color. The work is brought to a happy conclusion with a lively dance-like movement.

Leigh died at the age of 37 years on duty in Libya during the Second World War.

Elena Kats-Chernin (1957-) was born in Tashkent, now the capital of independent Uzbekistan but then part of the Soviet Union. She migrated to Australia in 1975.

Elena composed Charmer’s Apprentice in 2002. After collaborating with Stephen Robinson and Elyane Lausade on its first recording for the CD Bright Vessel, she completed the abridged version that you’ll hear today. It is dedicated to Stephen Robinson. This work is steeped in jazz and ragtime influences and provides the performers with a welcome opportunity to play in a style that is rarely included in the oboe repertoire.

Eugene Goossens was born in England in 1893. In 1947, his musical career led him to Australia where he became the inaugural chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, a position he held until 1956. He had a strong influence on Australian music life, establishing the first outdoor concert and conducting the first concert of Australian contemporary music. Goossens was also director of the NSW State Conservatorium of Music.

Pastorale et Arlequinade was written in 1924 for his brother Leon one of the greatest oboists of the period. This work is characteristic of Goossens’s writing with a rich and dense slow movement peppered with birdcalls in the flute and oboe. A spirited and lively fast movement follows, where rhythmical patterns form the backdrop for thematic exchanges between the three instruments.

Ignaz Moscheles 1794-1870) was born in Prague. After his studies at the Prague Conservatoire he moved to Vienna to teach and perform in musical circles. In 1826 he continued his career in London. He became a friend of Felix Mendelsohnn who invited him to work at the Conservatoire in Leipzig from 1846. As a pianist he was renowned for the variety and brilliance of his performances and famous for his long improvisation on a theme given by the audience. His main compositions were for piano. His concertino for flute and oboe starts with a rich and expressive slow introduction followed by a fast and lively section where the solo instruments exchange virtuosic solo passages as well as beautiful duet work.

William Mathias (1934-1992) was a Welsh composer. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music under Lennox Berkeley. Mathias has written a large amount of works for the Anglican Choral tradition. Notably the anthem “Let the people praise Thee, O God” written for the July 1981 royal wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales. He also wrote works for orchestra and chamber music.

The Sonatina was written in 1956 for his daughter Rhiannon. This exciting piece is full of energy and life with “catchy” rhythms contrasting with smooth melodies.

Philippe Gaubert (1819-1941) was born in the south of France. He had a prominent career as flutist with the Paris Opéra and as conductor of the Orchestre de la Société de Concerts du Conservatoire. His music reflects the influence of other French composers such as Franck, Ravel and Debussy.

In the Italian province of Taranto, the bite of a locally common type of wolf spider, named “tarantula” after the region, was popularly believed to be highly poisonous and to lead to a hysterical condition known as tarantism. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the belief was that this condition could be avoided by engaging in a frenzied rhythmical dance. This became known as the Tarantella.