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Stephen's association with the music of Messiaen is doubly assured since studying in Paris with the composer's widow, Yvonne Loriod.
The final programmed item titled 'Landscape Preludes' consisted of twelve piano commissions by De Pledge from twelve New Zealand composers. Half of them were performed here for the first time; the rest had been heard on other occasions. As a generic work Landscape Preludes was a world première.
Since the days of NZ's venerated Douglas Lilburn (1915-2001), this country's composers have tended to present the country solely as a land full of breathtaking vistas.
To some extent strictly rural works were left behind in Landscape Preludes; for instance Samuel Holloway's Terrain Vague rumbled with the sound of heavy commercial traffic.
Lyell Cresswell's Chiaroscuro suggested the conjuring equation of light and shadow in painting.
In Sleeper, John Psathas depicts the life of a 'footloose' with no determinate landscape.
Copyright © 30 April 2008
Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand