Chrysalis Trio: Melina van Leeuwen- harp, Katie Yap- viola, Kiran Phatak- flute
Australian National Academy of Music
Chamber Competition Final 2014: Sonatine en Trio (1905) by Maurice Ravel (arr. Carlos Salzedo)
MELBOURNE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA BROCHURE FOR 2016
MELBOURNE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA INTERVIEW FEBRUARY 27, 2016
O’Connell the Music: ‘Mozart all the way’
Posted on March 7, 2016 by Clive O’Connell
(chief music critic on The Age newspaper in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
‘Harpist Melina van Leeuwen took centre stage for two French works that typify her instrument’s repertoire as most of us know it: Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro requiring also flute, clarinet and string quartet, and Debussy’s Danse sacree et danse profane which have the soloist supported by a string orchestra. Perhaps these were not the most original works to program but they made amiable enough contrasts with the afternoon’s Mozart content. Neither presented van Leeuwen with obvious problems, her generously spaced, ornately complex arpeggios at the opening to the Ravel work a promise of the fluency that she brought to the score’s major segment.
Later, the Debussy test-piece enjoyed a fine airing, its open textures cleanly carried off in the mode-infested first half string writing while van Leeuwen gave full voice to the sacred dance’s rich two-hand chords. After the stately, hieratic suggestions of this opening set of pages, it always seems a comic relief when the D Major waltz marks out Debussy’s entry into the secular world that the second dance intends to represent. This section is far more colourful for the soloist with a wide range of technical requirements and a rapid alternation between various techniques of sound production. But van Leeuwen kept the interpretative tenor on an even keel, the details of harmonics and appoggiaturas coming across without unsettling stress, and the various ritenuto/a tempo changes handled with aplomb.’
Classic Melbourne: ‘MCO: Classical Visions’
Posted on March 9, 2016 by Heather Leviston
'The choice of harpist Melina van Leeuwen as soloist for Ravel’s Introduction et allegro pour harpe, flûte, clarinette et quatuor and Debussy’s Danse sacrée et danse profane was most appropriate. As a 2015 ANAM alumna, she personified the exciting fresh style of the works themselves in their time. Elegant and stylish in her modern print sleeveless jump suit, she presented both works to best advantage on her concert grand Salzedo harp. Forget the rival harp companies (Pleyel with its new chromatic harp, and Erard with its double-action pedal harp) that commissioned Debussy and Ravel respectively to display the virtues of their products. The audience was persuaded that the colour and expressive qualities of both harp and compositions were ravishing accomplishments in van Leeuwen’s hands.
The beginning of the Ravel set the tone for as pleasant a Sunday afternoon as you could wish. David Griffiths’ clarinet emerged in a subtle caress that was joined by Agatha Yim’s pure flute. The harp contributed soothing washes of sound for the Introduction, which was followed by an Allegro featuring an array of dazzling effects.
Another gentle opening paved the way as strings accompanied the harp for the Debussy after interval. There was also some lovely solo violin work from Hennessy, who directed the orchestra most effectively throughout the afternoon, chiefly by using unobtrusive body language. Starbursts of harp with finely modulated dynamics and elastic rhythmic pulse resulted in a most gratifying experience.'
CLASSICAL VISIONS: Melbourne Chamber Orchestra at the Melbourne Recital Centre, March 6 2016
MELBOURNE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA REVIEWS MARCH 6, 2016
THE AUSTRALIAN JULY 14, 2015
LIMELIGHT MAGAZINE JULY 19, 2015