Paul Terracini | conductor Daniel Herscovitch | piano Antonia Todorova | violin
The work of Beethoven has often been called the culmination of the Classical era. The grandeur of the virtuoso composer’s final piano concerto is juxtaposed here with the passion of Tchaikovsky’s final symphony, composed in the final months of a complex and turbulent life. Cantilena Pacifica by Australian Richard Meale, who died in 2009, is a fine example of the lyrical style characteristic of much of the composer’s later work.
Beethoven – Piano Concerto No.5 in E-flat major, “Emperor” Meale – Cantilena Pacifica Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 6 in B minor, “Pathétique”
Paul Terracini | conductor Helen Barnett | soprano Penrith City Choir & Academy Singers | Lucy McAlary, Director
Ravel’s expression of a nostalgic enthusiasm for Spanish courtly customs and sensibilities, and Debussy’s dreamy response to Mallarmé’s poem about a faun in the heat of the afternoon, are among the quintessential works of the impressionist movement in music. In Earth Cry, Sculthorpe’s instrumental colours evoke feelings of the Australian landscape that seem to go beyond ritual mourning, while Poulenc imbues his sacred text with wide-ranging emotion and drama.
Debussy – Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune Sculthorpe – Earth Cry Ravel – Ma mère l’oye (“Mother Goose” Suite) & Pavane pour une infante défunte Poulenc – Gloria
Few composers paint landscapes in sound as eloquently as the fervent Finnish nationalist Sibelius, whose distinctive orchestration and stirring melodies are nothing short of breathtaking. Also from the Nordic region comes Grieg’s incidental music to Ibsen’s folkloric verse play, Peer Gynt, while Mythic, by Russian-born Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin, refers to “the mental image [the composer] had of musically entering into a large, mythical cave”. Kats-Chernin – Mythic Sibelius – Karelia Suite Grieg – Peer Gynt Suite No.1 Sibelius – Symphony No. 1 in E minor
Firebird, the ballet which first earned Stravinsky international fame, depicts a glowing bird from Slavic folkloric, both a blessing and bringer of doom to its captor. In White Ghost Dancing, the concept of a white ghost symbolises non-indigenous Australia’s capacity to heal itself through connectedness with the earth. The virtuosity of Vaughan Williams and the poignancy of Barber add further colour to this richly varied musical experience.
Edwards – White Ghost Dancing Vaughan Williams – Oboe Concerto in A minor Barber – Adagio for Strings Stravinsky – Firebird Suite