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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Peace by Schultz with TSO in August

Peace - Burial at Sea by JMW Turner

Peace – Burial at Sea by JMW Turner

The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marko Letonja present a new work, Peace, by Andrew Schultz in August 2013 in Hobart and Burnie. The concert also includes an appearance by Baiba Skride in the Britten Violin Concerto.

Peace, Opus 93 (2013) takes its title from one of JMW Turner’s most well-known paintings, Peace – Burial at Sea (1842). The painting commemorates the burial at sea of a friend of the artist and shows a dark ship with black sails surrounded by glassy sea, a luminous sky and a distant tower or lighthouse. In the centre of the painting is an eye-catching eruption of mysterious light through the bow of the ship. The painting is part of the Tate collection of Turner’s work currently at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

The ‘peace’ of the title is not like the modern sense of personal peace – namely, deep tranquility.  It is more the kind of unsettled, peaceful aftermath that exists in contrast to violence and brutality. Indeed, Turner’s painting was paired with another painting, entitled War, which depicts Napoleon in exile. Like Turner’s painting, Peace plays on effects of closeness and distance, and darkness and light. The piece is mostly very subdued and quiet in its outer sections with a central passage of greater force and brilliance. Peace quietly references the funeral marches of the period but often adds an additional beat to each second bar.  The normal duple time of a march is replaced by a continual pattern of 4/4 + 5/4 – as though the march hesitates at the end of each second bar.

Peace was written immediately after another short orchestral work, August Offensive Opus 92. August Offensive is a very fast, virtuosic and violent work commissioned for the centenary of the ANZAC Gallipoli campaign by the Australian Department of Veterans’ Affairs. At some point the two pieces, performed together, could form an effective diptych.

Here is some more information from the TSO’s publicity for the concert. “Since winning the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in 2001, violinist Baiba Skride has performed with the world’s leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra. In this, her second appearance with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, she performs Benjamin Britten’s Violin Concerto, a powerful and emotional work from the late 1930s written in response to a world on the brink of war. An important new commission by Andrew Schultz pays homage to Britten while works by Mozart – a favourite overture and a great symphony – bookend a concert of exceptional music and an exceptional artist.”

7:30pm, Friday 16 August 2013, Federation Concert Hall, Hobart

7:30pm, Saturday 17 August, Burnie Town Hall

More information and tickets

The concert will be broadcast live on ABC Classic FM.


Simplify, Simplify

Walden Cottage, Mass.

If a man, does not keep pace with his companions perhaps it’s because he hears a different drummer.

Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.

The Sydney Philharmonia Symphony Chorus present Andrew Schultz’s Simplify, Simplify, Opus 82 (2009) in their Architecture of Sound concerts in the vast expanse of Bay 17 of Carriageworks, Sydney in August 2013. 

Simplify, Simplify is a choral setting of some inspired words of Henry David Thoreau selected from his book, Walden. Walden, or Life in the Woods, was first published in 1854 and is Thoreau’s reflective account of his experiment in radical personal simplification. For two years he lived alone in a tiny cottage (above) in the woods at Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts, in a cabin owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson, in turn, caught the spirit of Thoreau’s philosophical concerns and poetic writing style perfectly when he wrote in 1860: “We ascribe beauty to that which is simple; which has no superfluous parts; which exactly answers its ends; which stands related to all things; which is the mean of many extremes.” [Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life]. Simplify, Simplify is scored for choir with strings, soprano saxophone, percussion and piano.  The music weaves its way around a short two part piano invention by Bach that Schultz had also used in the opera, The Children’s Bach.

Architecture of Sound

24 AUGUST 2013
7PM – 9PM

25 AUGUST 2013
2PM – 4PM

Sydney Philharmonia Symphony Chorus, conducted by Brett Weymark

Carriageworks Bay 17

Program includes

Purcell Hear my prayer, O Lord

JS Bach Der Himmel lacht!

Górecki Amen

Pärt Summa

Schultz Simplify, simplify

Chan Chaconne for voices and saxophone*

Peterson The Immortal Spark*

(* premiere)