<< -- 2 -- Malcolm Tattersall A SENSE OF SPACIOUSNESS
The sense of stillness can be even stronger in the music of Ross Edwards. Shadow D-Zone (1977) seems almost to have been created as an object of contemplation. Unfortunately, its crystalline delicacy means no extract could convey a fair impression of it. Edwards is one of the most highly regarded Australian composers active today. He has continued to work in this contemplative mode, but is also known for more extroverted, dance-like pieces such as Maninyas and his recent (wonderful, but as yet unrecorded) Oboe Concerto.
Peggy Glanville-Hicks (born 1912) and David Lumsdaine (born 1931) are the most European of the composers.
Glanville-Hicks was born in Melbourne but received most of her training in Europe and spent much of her working life in New York, returning to Australia only in 1975. Her three-movement Concertino da Camera (1948) was written before half the composers on this disc were born. It is in fact exactly contemporary with Stravinsky's Rake's Progress and audibly belongs to that world [listen -- track 4, 0:00-0:50]. Enjoyable though it is, the Concertino is a little anomalous here.
Lumsdaine similarly left Australia to study in England, and he stayed there for twenty years; since 1973 he has shared his time between the two countries. His Bagatelles (1985) are more overtly concerned with musical process than anything else on the disc. They are concise, abstract and dynamic as compared to the younger composers' more spacious, programmatic and static works. Incisive miniatures which coalesce into a multi-movement work, the Bagatelles contrast sub-sections of the ensemble. The whole sextet comes together only for two episodes [listen -- track 7, 1:17-2:20].
Copyright © 20 October 2004
Malcolm Tattersall, Townsville, Australia