1. Die Braut (The Bride), from the song cycle Rilke Songs

Key Artist: Tom Henry. Role: Composer

Composed in 2006
Duration: 1:30
Performers: Tania Ferris – Mezzo-soprano, Jennifer McNamara – Piano
Recorded live at Christ Church, South Yarra, August 23, 2009

How does this example relate to the project?

This work illustrates the composer’s ability to set poetry for the voice.

Composer’s Program Note
Die Braut – The Bride

Call to me, love, call to me loudly!
Don’t let your bride stand so long at the window.
In the old shaded plane-tree avenues
the evening no longer wakes:
they are empty.

And if you don’t come and lock me up with your voice
in the deep nocturnal house,
then I must pour myself out of my hands
into the gardens of dark blue

Translation by Edward Snow (The Book of Images by Rainer Maria Rilke, North Point Press, New York, 1994)

These poems show Rilke standing between the German Romantic tradition – with its myths, deep longing and spirituality – and the 20th century – with its psychological claustrophobia and sense of alienation. The song extracted here speaks of love, which brings the greatest joy, but also the greatest pain. The Bride is full of strident longing, perhaps desperation at the prospect of losing her love forever.

2. Night Dances, from Ancestors for orchestra (excerpt)

Key Artist: Tom Henry. Role: Composer

Composed in 2011
Duration: 3:30
Performers: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, directed by Kenneth Young
Recorded live at the Iwaki Auditorium, ABC Studios, Southbank. Copyright MSO & ABC. Recording provided solely for the purposes of this application. No reproduction permitted.

How does this example relate to the project?

This work illustrates the composer’s ability to:

  • use a broad and flexible harmonic language
  • create a sustained and dynamic narrative with strongly contrasting textures, colours and moods
  • utilise and control multiple lines

Composer’s Program Note
Night Dances is the second movement of a three-movement work entitled Ancestors for orchestra. The other movements are 1. Night and 3. Into the Light. The three movements taken together form a gradual ascendancy from a state of darkness and unconsciousness to one of light and knowledge. Night Dances begins in a place of darkness and through energy, struggle and upward movement reaches towards the light. The broader title of the work, Ancestors, is a reference both to past composers who inspire me, from Tallis up to those of the present, and to my own family’s ‘musical ancestors’; the title has both meanings, as the opportunity to play and study the music of the past was in the first instance handed down to me from my grandparents and parents.
Photograph by Terry Lane


3. Awit ni Solomon (Song of Solomon) for mixed choir

Key Artist: Australian Chamber Choir. Role: Performer
Key Artist: Douglas Lawrence. Role: Conductor

Composer: Robin Estrada (born 1970, Manila)
Composed in 1999
Duration: 4:54
Live Recording by Eric Pozza at St Paul’s Church, Canberra on October 12, 2013

How does this example relate to the project?
Douglas Lawrence has confirmed that he will direct the Australian Chamber Choir in at least twelve performances of the New Work in Australia and Europe. This is an example of a demanding contemporary work performed by key artists, the Australian Chamber Choir, directed by Douglas Lawrence. It demonstrates this choir’s ability to sing accurately and expressively in 16 voice-parts, using both conventional and extended vocal techniques. Music critic, Klaus Trapp described a performance that included this work: “The Australian Chamber Choir presented as a professional and dynamic ensemble, whose 18 members navigated this demanding program with a firm sense of style and expressive delivery” Darmstädter Echo, July 5, 2013. Click here to read more.

Song of Solomon (Chapter 8, Verse 10)
I am a wall,
and my breasts like towers:
then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.


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