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New to ABC Classics’ Discovery label is a collection of signature works from one of Australia’s best-loved composers, Ross Edwards, performed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
In creating a sound world uniquely his own, Australian composer Ross Edwards has been drawn to the natural environment, and his highly personal responses to it have given his music a strong sense of location. His musical language is profoundly influenced by the sounds and rhythmic patterns of the Australian bush: their feeling of timelessness, quirkish rhythms and asymmetrical phrases and, above all, their implicit recognition of the fundamental mysteriousness of existence.
The Violin Concerto Maninyas is a lushly orchestrated, highly accessible, virtuosic tour de force, ideally suited to the performing flair of Dene Olding, for whom it was written. Its lively tempo and dancing rhythms are inspired by the ‘bush chorus’ of insect and bird sounds, as well as drawing on African mbira music, Indonesian gamelan, and the music of India, Japan and the Islamic sufi tradition. This performance, by Dene Olding and the Sydney Symphony, is especially significant for being the last recording by Stuart Challender to be released.
The genesis of the Symphony ‘Da pacem Domine’ was profoundly affected by Challender’s illness. The work takes its title from the Gregorian chant Da pacem Domine (Give peace, Lord), a fragment of which is incorporated into the symphony; Edwards has described the work as ‘a massive orchestral chant of quiet intensity’. As the symphony was also begun during the first Gulf War, the title has another connotation as a plea for peace.
Yarrageh – Nocturne for solo percussion and orchestra takes its title from an Aboriginal word meaning the spirit of Spring. Yarrageh is a series of continuous, interlinked, timbral episodes, each full of its own resonances, conveying a sense of timelessness rather than of time passing.
ROSS EDWARDS b.1943
Maninyas – Concerto for violin and orchestra
1 I. First Maninya
2 Intermezzo quasi cadenza – II. Chorale
3 III. Second Maninya
Dene Olding violin
4 Symphony No. 1 ‘Da pacem Domine’
5 Yarrageh – Nocturne for solo percussion and orchestra
Ian Cleworth percussion, Anthony Baldwin piano
Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Stuart Challender -, David Porcelijn - conductors