ACO – War and Peace
Next event 16 Sep
The Australian Chamber Orchestra presents
Music of War and Peace
This is a program that explores the ever-present clash that exists within humanity: our twin urges to seek peace and joy, and to wage war.
Arvo Pärt sought peace through stillness in a way that is almost sublime in Fratres, a minimal but deeply spiritual work from an Eastern Europe still feeling the repercussions of war. That same continent, on the brink of a great conflagration but still trusting in life and optimism, permeates Bartók’s Divertimento, written in 1939 and a signature piece for the ACO.
A folk melody and a rhythmic waltz serve as a calm prelude to the mark of fear and darkness in the Molto Adagio, the need to escape clear. The answer is movement, hope emerging through rushing dance that brims with life.
In Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony hope is harder to find but emerges from the acceptance of peace. The internal struggles, like the European battles expressed in Heinrich Biber’s Battalia, reflect a wisdom hard earned, and now expressed in grandeur and the flowering of human spirit.
Matthew Truscott (Guest Director)
UK violinist Matthew Truscott is concertmaster of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and one of the leaders of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He is an incredibly versatile musician who shares his time between period instrument music and ‘modern’ performance, and has directed orchestral performances from the violin in many of the world’s great venues, including Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonie and Vienna Musikverein, as well as at the and BBC Proms in London.
Directed by renowned Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto, ACO Collective combines the professional musicians of the ACO with Australia’s most talented emerging string players. The result is an ensemble full of youthful energy with the dynamism and artistry for which the ACO is renowned.
Arvo Pärt is an Estonian composer of classical and religious music. Since the late 1970s, Pärt has worked in a minimalist style that employs his self-invented compositional technique, tintinnabuli. Pärt’s music is in part inspired by chant. Since 2001, Pärt has been the most performed living composer in the world.
Dmitri Shostakovich was a Russian composer and pianist who achieved great fame in the Soviet Union, but had a complex relationship with its government. His works, which tried to reconcile themes of Socialist revolution with the musical revolutions of his time, attracted both acclaim and contention. His 15 symphonies, concertos and 15 string quartets are frequently performed.
Melody Eötvös is an Australian-American composer whose work draws on both multi-media and traditional instrumental contexts. She is the winner of numerous international competitions, and her music has been performed worldwide by the likes of the London Sinfonietta, BBC Singers and Australian String Quartet.