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Building on the success of our first Women of Note album last year, ABC Classic is thrilled to be releasing the second volume in our now annual celebration of Australia’s female composers.
This 2CD album, released in time for International Women’s Day (8 March), begins with music from pioneers of Australia’s musical heritage: Margaret Sutherland, Miriam Hyde, Dulcie Holland, and introducing Linda Phillips, whose work as a critic and as chief adjudicator of the prestigious Sun Aria competition across three decades helped to shape this country’s musical landscape, but whose compositions – prized by such artists as Dame Joan Sutherland – have been unjustly neglected in Australia’s recorded music catalogue. Her quartet Exaltation, a swirling mixture of melancholy and exuberance, shows the composer exploring the musical legacy of her family’s Jewish background.
Five other world premiere recordings feature on the album. Multiple award-winning composer Mary Finsterer is represented by a live concert recording of her double bass concerto Lake Ice, an exploration of music as storytelling and as journey, guided by the beautiful yet rarely heard sonorities of the bass as solo instrument. From Miriama Young we have a re-imagination of the historical soundworld of Sydney Harbour in Time and Tide, blending field recordings ancient and modern with brass and percussion instruments. We are also delighted to be presenting the first commercial recording of music by rising star Ella Macens: her soaring orchestral work The Space Between Stars.
The other two world premiere recordings are by Indigenous Australian composers. From Yorta Yorta woman, opera singer, composer and educator Deborah Cheetham comes Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace: a powerful and poignant response to the resistance war fought by the Gunditjmara people in southwest Victoria and to the troubled spirits of all who fell in those battles, on both sides. And Yuwaalaraay composer Nardi Simpson gives us Wilga’s Last Dance, honouring the only traditional melody from her people that was ever recorded.
Moya Henderson takes us to the Tasmanian wilderness with her transcendent string quartet Kudikynah Cave, evoking moments of ecstatic stillness during the raft journey to the cave’s entrance, along the Franklin River. Katia Tiutiunnik draws inspiration from the moment a mother first feels her baby move inside her womb for her flute and piano duet The Quickening. Katy Abbott, always alert to the quirks and foibles of human
existence, applies wit and humour to the multiple meanings of the word Punch in a work for brass ensemble. Amanda Cole marries marimba and cowbells in her energetic percussion solo Glocken Blocken. Rachel Bruerville (Dancing on Tiptoes) and Natalie Nicolas (We Won’t Let You Down) worked with teenagers in hospital mental health wards to create music of joy and profound optimism. And Elena Kats-Chernin’s beloved Eliza Aria is presented in its original version for quizzical soprano solo over delicately plucked strings
DULCIE HOLLAND 1913–2000 Sonata for violin and piano 1 I. Quasi recitativo – Andante – Vivo 2 II. Slow and somewhat rubato 3 III. Allegro
Asmira Woodward-Page violin, Scott Davie piano
LINDA PHILLIPS 1899–2002 4 Exaltation (Chassidic Air and Dance)*
Anne Gilby oboe, Isin Cakmakcioglu violin, Rachel Atkinson cello, Robert Chamberlain piano LIVE RECORDING
MIRIAM HYDE 1913–2005 5 Village Fair
Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Dobbs Franks conductor
MARGARET SUTHERLAND 1897–1984 6 Haunted Hills
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, John Hopkins conductor
MOYA HENDERSON born 1941 7 Kudikynah Cave
KATIA TIUTIUNNIK born 1967 8 The Quickening
Laura Chislett flute, Stephanie McCallum piano
ELENA KATS-CHERNIN born 1957 9 Eliza Aria from Wild Swans – Concert Suite
Jane Sheldon soprano, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Ola Rudner conductor
KATY ABBOTT born 1971 1 Punch
MARY FINSTERER born 1962 2 Lake Ice: Missed Tales No. 1*
Kees Boersma double bass, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Jessica Cottis conductor LIVE RECORDING
AMANDA COLE born 1979 3 Glocken Blocken
Claire Edwardes marimba and Almglocken (cowbells)
MIRIAMA YOUNG born 1975 4 Time and Tide*
2018 Sydney Symphony Fellows
RACHEL BRUERVILLE born 1991 5 Dancing on Tiptoes
NATALIE NICOLAS born 1992 6 We Won’t Let You Down
ELLA MACENS born 1991 7 The Space Between Stars*
Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Jessica Cottis conductor LIVE RECORDING
DEBORAH CHEETHAM born 1964 Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace* – excerpts 8 IV. Kooyeen-wanoong (Liber scriptus) 9 V. Tyookooyong-ee (Agnus Dei)
Libretto by Deborah Cheetham, translated into Gunditjmara dialects by Gunditjmara language custodian Vicki Couzens and linguist Travers Eira.
Deborah Cheetham soprano (Yorta Yorta), Linda Barcan mezzo-soprano, Don Bemrose baritone (Gungarri), Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus, The Consort of Melbourne, Dhungala Children’s Choir, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Northey conductor LIVE RECORDING
NARDI SIMPSON born 1975 10 Wilga’s Last Dance*
Royal Australian Navy Band
* World premiere recording