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Folksong | Australia Ensemble 2019

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Sir John Clancy Auditorium

High Street

Kensington, NSW 2052

Australia

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Witold Lutosławski | Dance Preludes

Ralph Vaughan Williams | Six Studies in English Folk Song

Luciano Berio | Folksongs

Andrew Ford | Northumbrian Songs

Antonín Dvořák | Trio in E minor Op.90 'Dumky'

with guest artists Fiona Campbell, mezzo soprano; Alice Giles, harp; Joshua Hill, percussion; Bree van Reyk, percussion; and Lerida Delbridge, violin


Folksongs can evoke a sense of place and identity, nostalgia and connection to other times and spaces. For centuries composers have tugged at heart strings and celebrated national identity through quotations of song. Our diverse program reveres this compositional feature. We welcome one of Australia’s most sought-after mezzo sopranos, Fiona Campbell, together with world-renowned harpist and regular guest, Alice Giles. Alongside Australia Ensemble members, Fiona and Alice premiere Andrew Ford’s evocative Northumbrian Songs, and charm us with Berio’s rustic Folksongs. Music by Vaughan Williams draws on pastoral themes while Witold Lutosławski’s Dance Preludes offers twists on seductive rhythms from Poland. Capping off the program, Dvorák’s much-loved Dumky Trio highlights his Bohemian heritage in a delightfully lively finale.


Life begins at 40

Professor Roger Covell’s idea for a resident ensemble at UNSW was initiated in 1979, coming to fruition in the first subscription season in 1980. Now, 40 years on, we can aver his idea has stood the test of time in style! Like all Australia Ensemble seasons, number 40 has the hallmarks of quality, diversity and variety. We pair something old with something new, and works of the canon beside less-familiar hidden gems.

Music of Mozart and Brahms again features prominently in 2019, as their timeless themes are rightly part of the established repertory. However, we also explore works unlikely to be found in a ‘Top 100’ CD box set: composers Gabriel Pierné and Ludwig Thuille may not be household names, yet their works presented here are fascinating, engaging and worthy of a place in concert programs.

We welcome special guests, mezzo soprano Fiona Campbell and harpist Alice Giles, to guide us through a program of Folksong-inspired compositions. We also welcome back a large range of visiting musicians who augment our core players in this richly diverse Australia Ensemble season. Our proud commitment to new music continues with world premieres by Andrew Ford and Jessica Wells, plus the Australian premieres of works by Americans David Bruce and Paul Moravec. We give pride of place to other local composers including Miriam Hyde, John Peterson and Martin Wesley-Smith in reprising their outstanding music.

Our 2019 season ranges across a great emotional landscape from the romantically sumptuous through to the contemporary edge. Along the way we flirt with popular styles too. It’s a veritable fiesta of music-making, eminently suitable for a significant anniversary. We plan to continue the 40th anniversary celebrations well into 2020. I heartily commend the 2019 season and hope to see you there amongst the loyal followers and new-devotees.

Paul Stanhope, Artistic Chair


For more information please visit the Australia Ensemble website

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Sir John Clancy Auditorium

High Street

Kensington, NSW 2052

Australia

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