Conductor Benjamin Northey leads MSO musicians through an exquisite program of fanfare and melodies, featuring music by the American composer Aaron Copland, and Australian composers Peter Sculthorpe and Lisa Illean. A defining influence on the then burgeoning ‘American sound’, Copland reconciles his life as an urbane New Yorker with the Wild West. In his Fanfare for the Common Man, we hear the collective patriotism so iconic of the United States, whilst in Appalachian Spring he vividly depicts Puritan life on the frontiers. An equally defining force but of Australian music, Peter Sculthorpe’s music captures the beauty of our land: expansive, sparse, and with deeply conflicting spiritual roots. His Djilile takes an Indigenous chant from Arnhem Land meaning ‘whistling duck on a billabong’, whereas New Norcia sets Psalm 150 Laudate Dominum, a work from his time in Launceston Anglican Grammar School’s chapel choir. Lisa Illean captures the elusive and intangible of Australian life, recalling the words of Belgian-Australian writer Simon Leys: ‘Australian scenery is of inexpressible beauty... but it is also utterly inconspicuous and non-spectacular... this worn-down immensity’. PROGRAM COPLAND Fanfare for the Common Man SCULTHORPE Djilile ILLEAN Januaries SCULTHORPE New Norcia COPLAND Appalachian Spring Suite ARTISTS Benjamin Northey, conductor Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
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