CONCERT PROGRAM BRUCH VIOLIN CONCERTO AND SYMPHONIC DANCES REFLECTIONS SATURDAY 10 SEPTEMBER / 2PM HAMER HALL
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RACHMANINOV Symphonic Dances
*Please note: Edward Walton will perform Bruch’s Violin Concerto No.1 in place of the originally scheduled Augustin Hadelich performing Bartók’s Violin Concerto No.2.
Running time: approximately 100 minutes including interval. Our musical Acknowledgment of Country, Long Time Living Here by Deborah Cheetham AO, will be performed at this concert.
Pre-concert talk: 10 September at 1.15pm in Stalls Foyer, Level 2 at Hamer Hall. Presented by composer and artist, Stéphanie Kabanyana-Kanyandekwe and special guest, composer of Torrent, Harry Sdraulig.
Please note audience members are strongly recommended to wear face masks where 1.5m distancing is not possible. In consideration of your fellow patrons, the MSO thanks you for silencing and dimming the light on your phone. This concert may be recorded for future broadcast on MSO.LIVE
Artists Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Fabian Russell conductor Edward Walton violin* Program HARRY SDRAULIG Torrent BRUCH Violin Concerto No.1*
— Deborah Cheetham AO
I have specialised in coupling the beauty and diversity of our Indigenous languages with the power and intensity of classical music. In order to compose the music for this Acknowledgement of Country Project I have had the great privilege of working with no fewer than eleven ancient languages from the state of Victoria, including the language of my late Grandmother, Yorta Yorta woman Frances McGee. I pay my deepest respects to the elders and ancestors who are represented in these songs of acknowledgement and to the language custodians who have shared their knowledge and expertise in providing each text. I am so proud of the MSO for initiating this landmark project and grateful that they afforded me the opportunity to make this contribution to the ongoing quest of understanding our belonging in this land.
Country In the first project of its kind in Australia, the MSO has developed a musical Acknowledgment of Country with music composed by Yorta Yorta composer Deborah Cheetham AO, featuring Indigenous languages from across Victoria. Generously supported by Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and the Commonwealth Government through the Australian National Commission for UNESCO, the MSO is working in partnership with Short Black Opera and Indigenous language custodians who are generously sharing their cultural knowledge. The Acknowledgement of Country allows us to pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land on which we perform in the language of that country and in the orchestral language of music. About Long Time Living Here In all the world, only Australia can lay claim to the longest continuing cultures and we celebrate this more today than in any other time since our shared history began. We live each day drawing energy from a land which has been nurtured by the traditional owners for more than 2000 generations. When we acknowledge country we pay respect to the land and to the people in equal Asmeasure.acomposer
NationalAustralianCommission for UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientiﬁc and Cultural Organization
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Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra respectfully acknowledges the people of the Eastern Kulin Nations, on whose un‑ceded lands we honour the continuation of the oldest music practice in the world.
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Your MSOSeptember10|Reflections–DancesSymphonicandConcertoViolinBruch 6
FIRST VIOLINS Barltrop Angela Li# Rowell Concertmaster Concertmaster Jameson and Edwards Assistant Principal Kirsty Bremner Sarah Curro Peter KathrynMichelleMarkEleanorKirstinAnne-MarieLorraineDeborahFellinGoodallHookJohnsonKennyManciniMogilevskiRuffoloTaylor
SECOND VIOLINS Matthew Tomkins
Jaime Martín Chief Conductor Mr Marc Besen AC and the late Mrs Eva Besen AO# Xian Zhang Principal Guest Conductor Benjamin Northey Principal Conductor in Residence Carlo Antonioli Cybec ConductorAssistantFellow Sir Andrew Davis Conductor Laureate Hiroyuki Iwaki † Conductor (1974–2006)Laureate
Tair Khisambeev Assistant
BASS CLARINET Jon Craven Principal BASSOONS Jack Schiller Principal Elise Millman Associate Principal Natasha Thomas Dr Martin Tymms and Patricia Nilsson# CONTRABASSOON Brock Imison Principal HORNS Nicolas Fleury MargaretPrincipal Jackson AC# Saul Lewis Principal Third The Hon Michael Watt QC and Cecilie Hall# Abbey Edlin Nereda Hanlon and Michael Hanlon AM# Trinette McClimont Rachel Shaw Gary McPherson# TRUMPETS Owen Morris Principal Shane Hooton Associate Principal Glenn Sedgwick# William Evans Rosie Turner John and Diana Frew# TROMBONES Richard Shirley Mike Szabo Principal Bass Trombone TUBA Timothy Buzbee Principal PERCUSSIONTIMPANI John Arcaro Anonymous# Robert Cossom Drs Rhyl Wade and Clem Gruen# HARP Yinuo Mu Principal GUEST MUSICIANS First Violins Jenny SusannahKhafagiNg Second Violins Michael Loftus-Hills Lynette Rayner Violas Heidi von Bernewitz Ceridwen Davies Isabel Morse Cellos Jonathan Chim Double Basses Siyuan Vivian Qu Emma CaitlinNemanjaSullivanPetkovicBass Flutes Lily Bryant Oboes Shefali Pryor Nicola Bell Bassoons Colin Forbes-Abram French Horns Roman Ponomariov Trumpets Timothy Reed Trombones Brian Santero Timpani Matthew Brennan Percussion Robert GregConradAllanNilssonSully Saxophone Niels Bijl # Position supported by September10|Reflections–DancesSymphonicandConcertoViolinBruch 7
One of Australia’s most promising young musicians, Edward is 15 years old and was recently awarded 2nd prize in the Junior Division of the prestigious 2021 Menuhin International Violin Competition. He is the youngest musician to be selected for the 2021 ABC Young Performer Awards. In 2019 Edward was awarded first prizes in many international competitions, including the Il Piccolo Violino Magico competition in Italy, the Medallion International Concerto Competition in the US, the Jeunes Artistes musicals du Centre in France and the International London Grand Prize Virtuoso competition.
Fabian Russell conductor Edward Walton violin Fabian Russell has been at the forefront of the Australian classical music industry in his 30-year career as an award-winning conductor, artistic director, orchestral musician, soloist and educator. He is the Founder, Artistic Director and Conductor of The Orchestra Project: the Melbourne based training orchestra that presents major orchestral concerts comprised of Australia’s finest young musicians playing alongside members of Australia’s professional orchestras. Fabian has conducted most of Australia’s professional orchestras, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and numerous youth orchestras throughout Asia and Europe. He has regularly appeared as Guest Conductor with Victorian Opera since making his debut in the acclaimed 2013 production of John Adams’ Nixon in China, where he received the Green Room Award for Opera Conductor. He has worked with every major youth orchestra in Australia and enjoyed a long relationship with the internationally acclaimed Australian Youth Orchestra as Associate FabianConductor.Russell was the recipient of a 2012 Sir Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship and holds a Masters Degree in Music Research from the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University.
Edward has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Australia and internationally and has performed recitals in Australia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and at London’s Royal Albert Hall. He has attended the Kronberg Academy, Interlaken and Keshet Eilon master courses receiving masterclasses from Maxim Vengerov, Mauricio Fuks and Zakhar EdwardBron.studies with Dr Robin Wilson, Head of Violin at the Australian National Academy of Music and plays on a 18th century Gennaro Gagliano violin kindly on loan through the Beare’s International Violin Society, London.
Harry Sraulig composer Harry Sdraulig is a prolific Sydney-based composer and educator. His work may be described as contemporary art music, drawing upon and extending the Western classical tradition in new ways. His approach often juxtaposes passionate melodic lyricism with moments of intricate rhythmic interplay and drive, supported by an extended and rich harmonic palette. He has collaborated with many renowned organisations and artists including the Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland, Tasmanian and Canberra Symphony Orchestras, Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott, Musica Viva Australia, Australian National Academy of Music, the Goldner and Orava Quartets, the Australian String Quartet, Australia Ensemble, Streeton Trio, Ensemble Q, PLEXUS and Syzygy Ensemble.
In recent years, Harry has achieved wider industry recognition as a recipient of various awards and scholarships including the Adolph Spivakovsky Award, Glen Johnston Composition Award, Frank Albert Prize for Music, 2020 Fine Music Stefan Kruger Scholarship, 2019–20 Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship, 2020 Arcadia Winds Composition Prize, Australian Postgraduate Award, and the 2019 Albert Scholarship. His piccolo concerto for Lloyd Hudson and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, entitled Icarus, was a finalist in the Work of the Year: Large Ensemble category of the 2020 APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards.
Despite living and working right through until 1920, Max Bruch never wrote experimental, controversial or even progressive music. Indeed, his First Violin Concerto, written 20 years after Mendelssohn’s famous E minor concerto, sounds even more ‘Classical’ than the older work. Bruch preferred to compose beautiful, well-crafted and entertaining pieces that neither pushed artistic boundaries nor shocked his audiences and, perhaps because of this, the operatic and choral works of his so popular during his lifetime are nowadays rarely performed. Though he wrote some 92 works, his only work in the standard repertoire is this, his first and most successful concerto. Bruch completed the first version of the G minor concerto in 1866, though sketches had been written for it as early as 1857. After conducting its first performance, he made revisions and sent it to Joseph Joachim for his criticism. The renowned violinist then premiered the final version in 1868, the first of many violinists to keep this music alive, attracted by the work’s strong, idiomatic solo writing and the opportunities it presents for warm and expressive playing. Bruch’s experience in writing opera is evident right from the beginning prelude. Two cadenza-like gestures between the opening orchestral phrases are reminiscent of recitative, and recur as ornate flourishes throughout the movement. The soloist’s skill in doubleand triple-stopping is soon put to the test, as the first theme is played out
Violin(1838–1920)Concerto No.1 in G minor I. Prelude (Allegro moderato) –II. Adagio III. Finale (Allegro energico)
HARRY SDRAULIG (born 1992) Torrent The composer writes: “This work was made possible through the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s 50 Fanfares Project and was commissioned by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, supported by the Sharon & Anthony Lee TorrentFoundation.beginswith immediate, unrelenting forward motion. Flurries disperse among the winds and strings, supported by bold, fanfarelike interjections from the brass and percussion. But before long a second theme emerges – one of complete rhythmic simplicity and contrast, first heard in the pizzicato strings and then passed to the woodwinds. After a brief return of the opening flourish, a languid oboe solo heralds the beginning of a gentle, slow intermezzo. Muted brass and vibraphone accompany an extended violin solo, eventually entwined with lyrical responses from the piccolo. However, the relative peace of this passage proves short-lived – trumpets and snare drum drive towards an extended recapitulation in which the second theme is entirely transformed to make for a martial, tumultuous
Edward Walton violin
© 2000 SERGEI RACHMANINOV (1873–1943) Symphonic Dances
After the Rachmaninov family left Russia in 1917, the seizure of Rachmaninov’s Russian income by the Soviets meant he had to earn a living from performing or conducting, rather than composition. At 44 he began building up a piano soloist’s repertoire and wrote no original work for nine years. Then the urge to compose began to re-assert itself. A fitful procession of ‘Indian summer’ pieces emerged between 1926 and 1940, many of which are now regarded among his finest Leavingcompositions.Russiahadmeant spiritual exile from the culture that had nurtured Rachmaninov’s musical style. To his friend Medtner’s question, ‘Why do you no longer compose?’ Rachmaninov replied: ‘The melody has gone.’ But to use this typically self-deprecating remark as a stick with which to beat the composer’s later compositions is to ignore their vigour. His orchestral style was now marked by great clarity of texture, a freer and more independent approach to brass and woodwind writing, and a tendency to express ideas more concisely than in his earlier large-scale pieces. Harmonically and rhythmically his music of the 1930s bears the influence of Prokofiev and Stravinsky, but very much on Rachmaninov’s own terms. His melodies still move, on the whole, in stepwise fashion, in the manner of Russian Orthodox chant, and although he clothes his melodies in lighter textures, he is not ashamed to write tunes that could be called ‘vintage Rachmaninov’.
The result was too ‘modern’ and leansounding for audiences who wanted him to keep re-writing the Second Piano Concerto, and too conservative for critics whose twin gods were Stravinsky and Schoenberg. But collectively, the Symphonic Dances represent perhaps the richest results of Rachmaninov’s new approach to the orchestra. They were also his last original composition.
The music recedes towards a languorous conclusion, but the violin briefly stirs again in its upper register before leading the orchestra to a gentle rest.
Nervous tremolos in the violas start the Finale and soon the rest of the orchestra joins in, stretching out a dominant chord until the shining, brilliant entry of the soloist. With its dance-like theme, there is an exuberance and energy to the Finale that balances both the drama of the Introduction and the romantic melancholy of the Adagio. Drew SymphonyCrawfordAustralia
III. Lento assai – Allegro vivace
‘I don’t know how it happened. It must have been my last spark,’ is how Rachmaninov described the work’s origins. Yet the idea of a score for a programmatic ballet had been
I. Non Allegro II. Andante con moto (Tempo di valse)
over dramatic tremolo chords in the strings. This gives way briefly to a second theme before dizzying, ascending chromatic runs usher in a series of rapid arpeggios. A return to the opening orchestral phrase and its attendant ascending quasi-candenzas, threatens to end the movement as it started, but a huge climax ensues, and threatens not to resolve, before eventually settling on a single note. The Adagio runs straight on from this first movement without a break. It contains three melodies that interact rather freely, though it is the second of these which builds to the brief but stirring climax, rapidly subsiding into a recapitulation of the third melody.
at the back of his mind since 1915, and when Michel Fokine successfully choreographed the Paganini Rhapsody in 1939 the opportunity presented itself again. He wrote the Dances the following year, giving the three movements the titles Midday, Twilight and Midnight respectively. At this point the work was called Fantastic Dances. Fokine was enthusiastic about the music but non-committal about its balletic possibilities. His death a short time later cooled Rachmaninov’s interest in the ballet idea. He deleted his descriptive titles, substituted the word ‘Symphonic’ for ‘Fantastic’, and dedicated the triptych to his favourite orchestra, the Philadelphia, and its chief conductor Eugene Ormandy. It is a work full of enigmas which the ever-secretive Rachmaninov does nothing to clarify. In the first movement for example, there is a transformation from minor to major of a prominent theme from his first symphony. The premiere of that work in 1897 had been such a fiasco that Rachmaninov could not compose at all for another three years. The reference in this new piece had a meaning that was entirely private. There is also the curious paradox that the word ‘dance’, with its suggestion of life-enhancing, joyous activity, is here put at the service of a work that is essentially concerned with endings, with a chromaticism that darkens every musical step. The first movement begins hesitantly, before a bold, staccato statement of a theme that sounds very much like the plainchant for the dead, Dies Irae, in disguise. This leads us to the main part of the movement. From this point on, most of the major musical ideas are introduced by the woodwinds. The major lyrical theme is then given to the alto saxophone. Rachmaninov also employs orchestral piano, and when the lyrical theme is given its second statement by the strings, the piano traces a filigree accompaniment, creating an overall effect of shining brightness. In the coda, harp and piano together create a glistening, shimmering counterpoint to the plush, chorale-like statement of the motif plucked from the first symphony. The waltz movement begins with muted trumpet fanfares that have a sinister fairy-tale quality to them. Although the atmosphere becomes warmer and more passionate at times, it does not lighten, and sometimes becomes quite macabre. It is as if we are experiencing a memory of a ballroom rather than a ball itself.
The finale is the work’s most complex movement. The extensive use of the Dies irae (a regular source for Rachmaninov) and the curious inscription ‘Alliluya’, written in the score above the last motif in the work to be derived from Orthodox chant, suggest the most final of endings mingled with a sense of thanksgiving. The tolling of the midnight bell that prefaces the movement’s vigorous main section reinforces the view that the work might, after all, be a parable on the three ages of man. from Phillip Sametz © 1999
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BOARD Chairman David Li AM Co-Deputy Chairs Di HelenJamesonSilver AO Managing Director Sophie Galaise Board Directors Shane AndrewBuggleDudgeon AM Danny MargaretLorraineGorogHookJackson AC David Krasnostein AM Gary GlennHyon-JuMcPhersonNewmanSedgwick Company Secretary Oliver Carton
The MSO relies on your ongoing philanthropic support to sustain our artists, and support access, education, community engagement and more. We invite our supporters to get close to the MSO through a range of special events. The MSO welcomes your support at any level. Donations of $2 and over are tax deductible, and supporters are recognised as follows: $500+ $100,000+$50,000+$20,000+$10,000+$5,000+$2,500+$1,000+(Overture)(Player)(Associate)(Principal)(Maestro)(Impresario)(Virtuoso)(Platinum)
COMMISSIONING CIRCLE Mary Armour The Hon Michael Watt QC and Cecilie Hall Tim and Lyn Edward FIRST NATIONS CIRCLE John and Lorraine Bates Colin Golvan AM QC and Dr Deborah Golvan Sascha O. Becker Elizabeth Proust AO and Brian Lawrence The Kate and Stephen Shelmerdine Family MichaelFoundationUllmer AO and Jenny Ullmer Jason Yeap OAM – Mering Management Corporation HONORARY APPOINTMENTS Life Members Mr Marc Besen AC John Gandel AC and Pauline Gandel AC Sir Elton John CBE Harold Mitchell AC Lady Potter AC CMRI Jeanne Pratt AC Michael Ullmer AO and Jenny Ullmer Anonymous Artistic Ambassadors Tan Dun Lu Siqing MSO Ambassador Geoffrey Rush AC The MSO honours the memory of Life Members Mrs Eva Besen AO John Brockman OAM The Honourable Alan Goldberg AO QC Roger Riordan AM Ila Vanrenen
Help us deliver an annual Season of musical magic, engage world-renowned artists, and nurture the future of Australian orchestral music by becoming an MSO Patron. Through an annual gift of $500 or more, you can join a group of like-minded musiclovers and enhance your MSO experience. Be the first to hear news from the MSO and enjoy exclusive MSO Patron activities, including behind-the-scenes access, special Patron pre-sales, and events with MSO musicians and guest artists. To find out more, please call MSO Philanthropy on (03) 8646 1551, or join online by clicking the button below. you for your support.
BECOME AN MSO PATRON Get closer to the Music Become an MSO Patron
Thank you to our Partners Government Partners Principal Partner Premier Partners Supporting Partners Education Partner Venue Partner Major Partners Quest SouthbankBows for StringsErnst & Young Orchestral Training Partner
Media and Broadcast Partners
Trusts and Foundations
Erica Foundation Pty Ltd, The Sir Andrew and Lady Fairley Foundation, John T Reid Charitable Trusts, Scobie & Claire Mackinnon Trust, Perpetual Foundation – Alan (AGL) Shaw Endowment, Sidney Myer MSO Trust Fund, The Ullmer Family Foundation FreemasonsFoundationVictoria
BEST SEAT in the house *Emirates First Class Private Suite pictured. For more information visit emirates.com/au, call 1300 303 777, or contact your local travel agent. As Principal Partner of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, we know the importance of delighting an audience. That’s why when you’re in Emirates First, you’ll enjoy the ultimate flying experience with fine dining at any time in your own private suite.