Ahead of Chamber 8’s Australian tour, the violinist shares the classical music clichés that annoy him the most.

The Australian World Orchestra’s Chamber 8 – eight of Australia’s finest musicians on the international stage – will tour the country in July. Violinist Daniel Dodds is the second of the eight to answer Limelight’s Eight for Chamber 8.

Daniel Dodds, Australian World Orchestra, Chamber 8Violinist Daniel Dodds

What is your favourite piece of chamber music and why?

I have many, many favorites, one of them definitely being Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major Op. 163. A monumental work full of drama and pathos, Schubert completed it two months before his death. From the first notes on, an experience not to be missed.

Three little-known chamber works that deserve to be heard more often?

Andre Caplet’s Le masque de la Mort Rouge for harp and string quartet
Maurice Ravel’s Sonate for violin and violoncello in C Major
Mozart’s Divertimento in E flat major for violin, viola and violoncello, KV 653

Three of the most inspiring conductors you have ever played under?

Maestros Zubin Mehta, Claudio Abbado, and Sir Simon Rattle.

What are the greatest pleasures to be had playing chamber music?

Playing chamber music can be rewarding in many ways, for both players and audience alike. It is the most intimate form of music making amongst musicians, and is because of this also the most challenging. Taking on this challenge and attempting to bring to bear works of exquisite beauty in the living moment of performance is work that can be immensely pleasurable.

Three clichés about classical musicians that annoy you the most?

I have a day job besides being a classical musician.
Classical music all sounds the same.
Classical music is only for intellectually minded people.

A piece of chamber music you could happily never hear again?

Yes there is a piece I played once, but I forget what it was called and by whom, and to be dreadfully honest, I hope it stays forgotten.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that could (or has) happened to you playing chamber music?

You know the dream: the concert’s just about to start, we have to go on stage, the clock is ticking, and I can’t find my concert clothes, or, any of my clothes for that matter!

The classical composer you would most like to play chamber music with and why?

With Johannes Brahms, playing one of his piano quartets, in Vienna in front of an audience of his time. What a blast that would be. I don’t know who would be more shocked, the audience, Brahms and the other players at my 21st-century appearance, or myself, at having to read handwritten notes by candle light with an audience making a racket whilst we perform. (A shushed up public is something relatively new, Gustav Mahler being one of the first known to admonish unruly audiences to be quiet and take notice of the music.)


The Australian World Orchestra’s Chamber 8 tours Australia July 24 – 31

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