Greg Dikmans: Reviews

Greg Dikmans playing a 'Rottenburgh' baroque flute

Photo: Jodie Hutchinson (2010)

As a virtuoso of historical flutes and recorders, conductor, educator and scholar, Greg Dikmans has been at the forefront of the early music movement in Australia since the late 1970s.

Greg Dikmans: Biography »

Astonishing flights of brilliance

Early Music Duo — Musica Viva Heritage Series (Sydney) - 30 Aug 1981

Greg Dikmans…indulged in physiologically and musically astonishing flights of brilliance.

Fred Blanks – Sydney Morning Herald (1 Sept 1981)

Mastery of ensemble

Early Music Duo — Musica Viva Heritage Series (Melbourne) - 14 Sept 1982

[T]he program which was devoted to florid Italian instrumental music of the 16th and early 17th centuries contained a pleasing number of exquisite gems. And they were played with appropriate care, affection and craftsmanship by Mr Dikmans and Mr Hynam who displayed a subtle mastery of ensemble when working together and a flawless sense of style in their solo items…

[They] belong to the top bracket of Australian instrumentalists.

John Sinclair – Melbourne Herald (15 Sept 1982)

An outstanding soloist

Duo Versailles with Greg Dikmans — Christ Church (Adelaide) - 13 Oct 1985

Greg Dikmans was an outstanding soloist in [Bach’s Sonata for flute in E Minor], in complete control throughout, shaping phrases with the utmost sensitivity. The baroque flute…[has] its own distinctive and beautiful sound in the hands of a master such as Greg Dikmans.

Stephen Whittington – Adelaide Advertiser (16 Oct 1985)

Antique aural pleasures

Elysium Ensemble — Music Viva at Six Series (Sydney) - 10 July 1986

The music itself offered a diverse world of aural pleasures. But it was the performances that united these elements [the music, the style of performance, and the acoustic] into a pleasing exhibition of antique works which remain, in such hands, treasured pieces, as capable now as some 250 years ago of bringing happiness to mortal ears. For this praise must go to the leader [of the Elysium Ensemble] Greg Dikmans, whose playing captures the spontaneity and grace of this music.

David Vance – Sydney Morning Herald (12 July 1986)

Ensemble’s rewarding evening

Elysium Ensemble — 1992 Melbourne Series - 30 May 1992

[F]or flautist Greg Dikmans to undertake most of these pieces [Bach’s flute sonatas] that constitute the massive foundation for his instrument’s repertoire showed admirable dedication…

The performances were, as usual, splendidly shaped and illustrative of the intelligent preparation that the [Elysium] ensemble puts into each of its programs…In all, a highly rewarding evening of solid and polished music-making.

Clive O’Connell – The Age (2 June 1992)

Fine sound of Elysium

Elysium Ensemble—1992 Melbourne Series - 30 May 1992

A program demanding endurance and extreme concentration was given last Saturday when baroque flautist Greg Dikmans performed five of the flute sonatas of J.S. Bach…

Dikmans gave commendable performances…Bach’s melodic lines suddenly became pliable and animated in this stylistically authentic performance, while Greg Dikmans’ approach to articulation and rhythmic stability proved to be less pedantic than that adopted by some baroque specialists…

[T]he stamina and the concentration required from Greg Dikmans in this taxing program was enormous. Despite this, the integrity of the music was never compromised.

Colin Taylor – Australian Jewish News, Melbourne Editon (5 June 1992)

Uncomplicated music for virtuous listeners

Elysium Ensemble—Music at Christ Church, Geelong - 8 Nov 1992

Elysium, in classical Greek literature, is a place where the virtuous enjoy complete happiness and innocent pleasures. This was the concert experience on Sunday afternoon…

The recital began with Variations on Doen Daphen d’over schoone maeght composed by Jacob van Eyck in 1646. It was played by Greg Dikmans…on solo descant recorder as he stood on the pulpit of Christ Church. This was a most eloquent performance made the more significant by the player’s position in the building.

Van Eyck’s composition may not have been the Song of Songs but there was a narrative force in the music’s monologue that seemed both intimately personal and uplifting as played by Greg Dikmans.

Brian Chalmers – Geelong Advertiser (10 Nov 1992)

Perfection and bliss abundant

Elysium Ensemble—Barossa Music Festival - 1 Oct 1995

Elysium proved that its name is no idle boast. The playing was little short of perfection—and bliss abounded. The source is Dikmans himself…[h]is volume is rarely much above a whisper but the tone prances and bounces with Puckish vigor and carries like a summer zephyr.

Although there is no doubting the seriousness of his mission, his playing is infused with lightness, even levity, imparting frequent reminders that laughter is one of the joys of heaven in any definition.

Elizabeth Silsbury – The [Adelaide] Advertiser (3 Oct 1995)

Irrepressible fire and passion

Elysium Ensemble—Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields Festival - 16 Jan 1999

[T]he Elysium Ensemble began with a well co-ordinated plunge into the regal opening of the Overture from Bach’s Suite in B Minor. The vigorous dotted rhythms, exaggerated according to the French style, were firmly placed yet breathed an airy grace due to the deft employment of articulatory silences…

At times the flute is no more than a subtle emanation from within the orchestra, floating like an aura, thickening and coloring the string melodies. From these striking unisons Bach launches the flute into more divergent solo trajectories, and here Greg Dikmans pushed determinedly to the fore in a spirit of unfettered, joyful elan. His approach throughout was uncluttered by indulgent ornamentation or affectation, instead remaining true to the essential of the line…

[The ensemble] succeeded in conjuring the irrepressible fire, passion and relentless momentum that lies at the heart of the baroque.

Johanna Selleck – Herald Sun (19 Jan 1999)