Kim Williams is an outspoken advocate for Australian music. This year he’s curated a passionate retrospective of the last hundred years of composition.
The yin first half is all bright, hot colours but then the yang beckons us down a strange, moonlit path perfumed by sallow nocturnal flowers: Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire is an atonal “melodrama” (a strictly notated setting of poetry which is neither sung nor spoken but “sungken”) about sex and madness. From the moment it raised its wilfully weird head in 1912 it has shocked, and provoked listeners while thrilling and stimulating several generations of composers. Whether you don’t know it, or think you might, you must hear this amazing performance featuring internationally acclaimed Australian singer and actor Jessica Aszodi.
Oz composers Richard Meale, Ross Edwards and Elena Kats-Chernin all started under Schoenberg’s spell before they found themselves gasping for their own air. Meale’s Lumen, which achieves complexity over a single chord, is an homage to a very different piece written at the same time as Pierrot (Scriabin’s Vers la flamme), the potency of which lay dormant until post-modernism kicked in. Edwards’s saxophone quintet, rich with the sounds of the Australian bush, and Kats-Chenin’s radiant piano quintet are future classics from the last five years.
Adult $89 - Theatres are currently operating at 50% capacity as per SA Health guidelines. Bookings through BASS attract an $8.95 transaction fee.