Bridge of Dreams: Press Release
Acclaimed Australian Chamber Choir presents
BRIDGE OF DREAMS
An original program featuring music from diverse geographical locations and cultures Touring to Denmark, Poland and Germany after premiere concerts in Castlemaine and Melbourne.
In a feat unmatched by any other Australian choir or classical ensemble, The Australian Chamber Choir has, in its first five years, given 48 concerts in three tours of Germany, Denmark, Poland and France and numerous performances in Melbourne, regional Victoria and New South Wales.
For their 2013 European tour, The Bridge of Dreams program forms a symbolic conduit between disparate cultures, indigenous and western, the old world and the new world, and between the music of three continents and four centuries.
The program takes its name from Anne Boyd’s 1975 work, As I crossed a Bridge of Dreams, which was inspired by the depth of sadness expressed in Medieval Japanese court music. Director, Douglas Lawrence explains: “All the pieces in the program form “bridges” between the composers’ dreams and the audience. Most compositions are dreamed before they are written. Composers, perhaps more than most (except poets!) dream the whole time. A dream is something that takes you out of yourself and wonderful music can transport people to such a place. I see the whole program as – if you will – a dream sequence!” The bridge of dreams takes us from modern day Australia to the cradle of European culture: Renaissance Italy:
Carlo Gesualdo (1566-1613) Prince of Venosa and Count of Conza, who murdered his wife and her lover when he caught them in flagrante delicto, wrote intensely expressive music with a chromatic language that was not heard again until the time of the great Romantic composer, Robert Schumann:
In the Four Songs for Double Choir Op. 141, Schumann deals with the theme of longing for a better world. These were written at a particularly difficult time in his life when he was striving to understand himself and his relationship with those around him.
It is the “depth of sadness” in the works of Schumann and Gesualdo that provides a bridge with Carr Boyd’s composition. She creates textures that are “a musical conception of the Australian outback landscape”. By synthesizing elements of Asian music with European compositional techniques, Carr Boyd produces something uniquely Australian; As does Stephen Leek in his Kondalilla, which deals with the indigenous Dreamtime story of the Great Southern Spirits.
The centerpiece of the program is the first performance of a new work Lexicon of Dreams, by internationally recognized Melbourne composer, Christine McCombe. She explains: “in some ways Lexicon of Dreams is a contemporary re-imagining of the indigenous concept of ‘songlines’ or ‘dreaming tracks’ – the work reflects on journeys made in dreams, of looking down from above on a particular path or landscape. The forest, the wide river, the ocean and the limitless blue sky of the text reflect a very Australian sensibility.”
In Awit ni Solomon (1990), composer Robin Estrada (born 1970, Philippines), using extended vocal techniques conjures up the sounds of the Philippine jungle.
The contemporary Australian and Filipino works on the program are set in context against European choral masterworks by William Byrd (c.1620), Olivier Messiaen (1937), Robert Schumann (1849) and Carlo Gesualdo (1603).
Due to their extraordinary difficulty, Olivier Messiaen’s choral works are rarely heard. In O sacrum convivium (1937), Messiaen provides his – as always – mystical interpretation of what we have come to call ‘the last supper’. A bridge leads from this piece to William Byrd’s O Salutaris Hostia (c.1620), which deals with man’s reenactment of the last Supper in the ritual that is now called ‘communion’. This work was also regarded in its time as highly experimental and difficult to perform.
BRIDGE OF DREAMS program
• Anne Carr Boyd (born 1938): As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams (1975)
• William Byrd (1540-1623): O salutaris hostia
• Robin Estrada (born 1970): Awit ni Solomon (Song of Solomon, 1990)
• Christine McCombe (born 1967): new work Lexicon of Dreams (2013)
• Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa (1566-1613), Motet from Sacrarum Cantionum
Liber Primus (1603), to mark the 400th anniversary of his death – Reminiscere miserationum tuarum
• Olivier Messiaen (1908-92): O Sacrum Convivium (1937)
• Stephen Leek (born 1959): Kondalilla, from Great Southern Spirits (1991)
• Robert Schumann (1810-56): Four Songs for Double Choir Op. 141
“… phenomenal. Flawless intonation, superb uniformity, perfect tonal balance, astounding dynamic range and sleek voice leading” Guido Krawinkel in General Anzeiger, Bonn, July 23, 2011
Programing is not the only multicultural element in the ACC’s performance. The 18 singers themselves represent a cross-section of Australian multi-cultural society, a fact that fascinates European audiences. For more detail on the multicultural personnel of the ACC, see http://www.auschoir.org/aboutus/our-multicultural-choir/
Barristers, music students, professional musicians, teachers, a music publisher and even a former racing car driver (Andrew Moffat, Allan Moffat’s son) make up the 18 member choir, which has six sopranos, four altos, four tenors and four basses.
Directed by Douglas Lawrence, the Choir includes Douglas’ wife, Elizabeth Anderson, who has received plaudits from European critics for her harpsichord performances, and 20-year old son, Jacob Lawrence, who recently received critical acclaim in the role of Evangelist in Bach’s St John Passion (directed by Andrew Raiskums). It is almost unheard of for a singer under 30 to be given this role, however Jacob who began his solo singing career as a 10-year old treble, is in demand as a tenor soloist for works such as Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Handel’s Messiah.
The Australian Chamber Choir releases its third CD in June 2013. ABC Classic FM continues to record and subsequently broadcast all Melbourne concerts.
Click here to visit the Australian Chamber Choir website for full program details.
In 2013, the BRIDGE OF DREAMS program will be performed in the following venues:
Saturday, June 15th 2013 @ 3pm
CASTLEMAINE Admission $25/$20
Venue: Christ Church, Castlemaine Victoria Australia
Sunday, June 23rd 2013 @ 3pm
Address: Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 216 Richardson St, Middle Park Melbourne Australia
Saturday, June 29 @ 8.00pm
KONZERT IN ST GEORG
Venue: Georgskirche, Marktplatz, Nördlingen
Sunday, June 30 @ 5.00 pm
Venue: St Peter’s Basilica, Königstrasse, Dillingen
Monday, July 1st 2013 @ 7.30pm
Venue: Pauluskirche, Johannes-Reuchlin-Straße 3, Tübingen, Germany
Wednesday, July 3rd 2013 @ 7pm
Venue: Pauluskirche, Niebergallweg, Darmstadt, Germany
Friday, July 5th 2013 @ 8pm
BERLIN: KONZERTE IN EPIPHANIEN
Venue: Epiphanienkirche, Knobelsdorffstraße 72, Charlottenburg, Berlin, Germany
Sunday, July 7th 2013 @ 7pm
HAMBURG: Presenter: Rolner Stiftung
Venue: Hafen City, Hamburg, Germany
Tuesday, July 9th 2013 @ 8pm
RIBE DOMKIRKES SOMMERKONCERTER
Venue: Ribe Cathedral, Torvet 15, Ribe, Denmark
Wednesday, July 10th 2013 @ 8pm
2013 SORØ INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL
Venue: Sorø Klosterkirke, Akademigrunden 4, Sorø, Denmark
Friday, July 12th 2013 time TBC
ZIELONA G´ORA: 6th INTERNATIONAL MOZART PLUS FESTIVAL
Venue: Philharmonic Hall, Zielona Góra, Poland
Sunday, July 14th 2013 @ 7pm
WROCLAW: Festival NON SOLA SCRIPTA
Venue: Kreuz Kirche, ul. Katedralna, Wrocław, Poland
Monday, July 15th 2013 @ 7pm
KALISZ: INTERNATIONAL ORGAN FORUM
Venue: Garnison Church, Kalisz
Tuesday, July 16th 2013 @ 7.15pm
XXII LEGNICA EVENING ORGAN CONCERTS
Venue: Legnica Cathedral, Plac Katedralny 6 Legnica, Poland
Thursday, July 18th 2013 @ 8pm
FREIBERG: KONZERTE 2013 IM FREIBERGER DOM
Venue: Freiberg Cathedral, Freiberg, Germany
Saturday, July 20th 20 @ 5pm
MEISSEN: GEISTLICHE ABENDMUSIK
Venue: Meissen Cathedral, Domplatz 7, Meissen, Germany
Sunday, July 21st 2013 @ 9.30am
Venue: Thomaskirche,Thomaskirchhof 18, Leipzig, Germany
Wednesday, July 24th 2013 @ 7pm
Venue: Martinskirche, Wangen, Marktplatz, Wangen (Allgäu), Germany
Sunday, July 28th 2013 @ 5pm
PARIS: ATELIER CONCERTS
Venue: American Church, 65 Quai d’Orsay, Paris, France
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