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Paradise by Schultz recording release

paradise-cover-art-final

 

A recording of Andrew Schultz’s Paradise – Five Songs for soprano, cello and piano, Opus 95 (2013) has been given a digital recording release by the three outstanding performers who gave the work its premiere in Paris in August 2015: Felicitas Fuchs (soprano), Li-Wei Qin (cello) and Bernard Lanskey (piano). This new recording was made at NUS in Singapore in October 2015 with Zhou Xiaodong the recording’s engineer and producer. Paradise was a finalist in the 2016 Art Music Awards and Highly Commended in the 2016 Paul Lowin Awards and consists of settings of the composer’s own texts.

The recording is available for sale and streaming on all major digital platforms including i-Tunes, Deezer, Spotify and YouTube. The release date of the recording is 6 January 2017 and the catalog number is Sedition 8.

The text of the songs, program note and composer’s biography are available to download as a PDF from this link: paradise-text-program-note-biog.

Halcyon

In September, three concerts by Sydney ensemble Halcyon present five works by Andrew Schultz.

 

WINTER MOON SECRETS

Friday 4th Sept 2015 at 7.30pm
Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

The program features the premiere of A Feast of Lanterns II (2015) by Larry Sitsky scored for mezzo, violin, cello, piano and percussion.

The program also features Andrew Schultz’s I am writing in this book (2011) written for soprano, mezzo, cello, double bass, harp, percussion and piano. Commissioned by Halcyon, and workshopped with Andrew during a Bundanon residency, it is a collection of five songs on texts drawn from 10th century writer Sei Shonagon’s The Pillow Book.

Sohmon III (1988), by eminent Japanese composer Minoru Miki, sets poetry from the oldest anthology of Japanese poetry, the Man’Yoshi (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) dating from the seventh and eight centuries in a work for soprano, piano and percussion.

Halcyon is pleased to welcome koto virtuoso Satsuki Odamura for this program.  She will be performing two solo works composed for her: Interlude from Koto Dreaming (2003) by Ross Edwards and Garden (2006) by Rosalind Page.

Tickets $35/$25 through Classikon

For more details click here

Image (at right, above): Moon with a View by Kay Stratman

 

DITTIES

Tuesday 15th September  6pm

Wyselaskie Auditorium, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music

Ken Murray (guitar) and Jenny Duck-Chong (mezzo soprano) present a recital of Australian songs written for voice and guitar over the past three decades. Featuring Matthew Hindson’s Insect Songs, John Peterson’s Of Quiet Places, Helen Gifford’s Spell Against Sorrow, several songs from Ditties by Andrew Schultz, and songs by Christine McCombe.

For more details click here

 

 

PARADISE

Thursday 17th September 1-2pm
Io Myers Studio, University of NSW,  Sydney

Halcyon presents a  lunchtime program for voice, cello and piano by Andrew Schultz and Rosalind Page.  Features To The Evening Star (2009) Prelude and Postscript  for piano (2015)* and Paradise (2013)* by Schultz and Being and Time III: Paradiso (2015) by Page.

Australian premiere

Admission: free

For more details of the date and venue click here

Download the concert program: Paradise_program

More details of the works by Andrew Schultz

Endling and Willow Bend with BBC Ulster Orchestra

The BBC Ulster Orchestra, conducted by David Porcelijn, present Willow Bend and Endling by Andrew Schultz in concerts in Ulster Hall, Belfast on  Wednesday 12 August and Friday 14 August. The concerts are a part of the BBC Radio 3 Summer Invitation Concerts with the theme of ‘Music of the Southern Hemisphere.’ The concerts also include music by Grainger, Sculthorpe, Glanville-Hicks and Kats-Chernin.  Other concerts in the series include music from New Zealand and Brazil. For all details of the concerts, broadcasts and the venue please follow this link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/shows/r3_summer_invitation_2015

Excerpts of Endling and Willow Bend can be heard on this BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/4782cba7-8703-4258-881f-0a56dd6a2333

For information about Endling and Willow Bend:

http://www.andrewschultz.net

Watch a YouTube excerpt of Endling as used in the film, Flight:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oHTeJBVNQ0

Schultz Sonatina recording by Jennifer Pike released

Sonatina CD Label FINAL

A recording of Andrew Schultz’s Sonatina for solo violin, Opus 66 (2007), featuring the outstanding British violinist Jennifer Pike, was released on 25 September 2014 on the Sedition label (SEDITION6). Pike has previously recorded the Schultz Violin Concerto, Opus 55 (1996) with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Mills for the ABC Classics label (ABC4764519) – a recording that has earned high praise for both the work and the performance. “This is music for eternity” as one German critic wrote.

Sonatina for solo violin, Opus 66 (2007), by Andrew Schultz was commissioned to be performed by Jennifer Pike for the Wigmore Hall, London, concerts of solo violin music celebrating the sixtieth birthday of violinist and teacher David Takeno. The work is highly virtuosic in its writing for the solo violin and is by turns lyrical and rhythmic. Pike gave the work its first performance in London at the Wigmore Hall in March 2007 and later that year recorded the work in Singapore. Her performances of the Sonatina earned her a Finalist nomination in the Best Performance of an Australian Work category of the Australian Art Music Awards in 2008.

Renowned for her “dazzling interpretative flair and exemplary technique” (Classic FM), British violinist Jennifer Pike has taken the musical world by storm with her unique artistry and compelling insight into music from the Baroque to the present day. She gained international attention in 2002, when aged 12 she became the youngest-ever winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year and the youngest major prizewinner in the Menuhin International Violin Competition. In demand as soloist with top orchestras worldwide, she recently released the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Bergen Philharmonic and Sir Andrew Davis on Chandos to great acclaim.

The new recording is available from digital music stores and  i-Tunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/sonatina-for-solo-violin-op./id911866510?i=911866552

More details

Read more about Jennifer Pike: http://www.jenniferpike.com

Read more about Andrew Schultz: http://www.andrewschultz.net

Hear an excerpt from the Schultz Violin Concerto played by Jennifer Pike (TSO/Mills on ABC Classics 4764519): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cPEjXm4nws

Composer’s Note: Andrew Schultz Sonatina for solo violin, Op. 66 (2007)

The work is entitled Sonatina because it has some flamboyant and effervescent qualities contrasted with sadder and more soulful passages and also because it is in one movement.

Getting the balance of mood in the piece was the biggest challenge. There is an inner dialogue for the player – both on a contrapuntal level of ideas contrasted over time and on an emotional level.  It is as if there should be a performance in which statements are made and then self-effaced but still felt deeply; self-contradictions perhaps.

There is a hint of folk-styles of violin playing with the use of short-lived drones and the use of pizzicato to almost suggest a band of players.  In interpretation, it calls for some freedom of tempo – it should never be rushed (except where it rushes) and ideas always need time to speak.

The piece is about 8 minutes duration and is in a spiral-rondo form – – an ABACA of sorts. That means when the A comes back it’s transformed and ideas also accumulate from section to section – hence the idea of the spiral shape and spiral motion (which may be down or up!). It could be the real, or pure, A is at the end  –  depending on the direction of travel.

The piece was written in early 2007 for performance by Jennifer Pike at The Wigmore Hall in March 2007 to form a part of concert celebrations for David Takeno’s sixtieth birthday. The work is dedicated, in memoriam, to Barbara Takeno.

Excerpts from Reviews: Schultz Violin Concerto, Opus 55 (1996) with Jennifer Pike and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Mills for the ABC Classics label (ABC4764519) https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/violin-concerto-op.-55-i./id509356971?i=509356984

“Cast in two movements, the concerto is ambitious – and successful – in its attempt to pit the solo line against orchestral textures which constantly change and shimmer, sometimes sounding like a resonating carillon…or a large organ in the vast reaches of a mighty cathedral.”

[David Bollard, Music Forum, Summer 2011.]

“… the first movement proceeds at an evolutionary petal-unfolding gait with the violin singing likewise. The music effervesces slowly and the Silvestrov-like carillon bubbling is unhurried….The violin gently continues to soar. The second movement is animated with iterations of bell fanfares from the brass and Hovhaness-like groans before the violin enters with a fast pulse and slippery virtuosity locked into the harmonies of the first movement…Schultz’s magnetic pull is towards the pensive. So it proves with a final page that glows steadily and in which the solo and orchestral strings whisper into silence.”

[Rob Barnett, Music Web International, October 2011.]

“If the association with film music is hinted at in “Endling”, in the two-part violin concerto it is tangible. In Schultz’ case, this does not mean that his compositions can only be associated with (real) films in order to be apprehended: the works themselves are musical films that do not require illustration but are instead, in terms of their sound qualities, both figurative and sensual. In this sense they touch upon the music of the great Latvian (Vasks), whose work similarly engages the large and existential themes of love, nature, belief, longing, hope, life and death with emotion, spontaneity, directness, without fear of drawing upon ‘already used’ tonality and harmony. One can place Schultz’ violin concerto, that had to wait fifteen years to be transferred to CD, in a line of very great works that have been written for this instrument in recent years: “Distant Light” by Peteris Vasks, “Concentric Path” by Thomas Adès or “1001 Nights in the Harem” by Fazil Say.

Schultz’ violin concerto begins with a lengthy movement titled “Chorale Expansive”. Like languorous waves, the music surges forth, retreats, and surges forth again, continuing in this fashion. This is music for eternity. The composer links the concerto with a poem by the English romantic William Butler Yeats that also recalls Goethe’s phrasing in Faust: “formation, transformation,
the eternal mind’s eternal recreation”. The second movement “Dances: Fast and Vibrant” is rhythmic, exuberant and rollicking and provides, as it were, the antithesis to the foregone “Chorale”. At its end, the music returns once more to the quiet waterways of the first movement.”

[Burkhard Schäfer, blog.codaex.de]

Schultz “is, in my opinion, one of the finest composers in this country today. The music is well-crafted in a modern idiom which is pleasing to the ear. Violin Concerto… is a work of tender lyricism and dramatic power … In two movements, the first is the slow movement titled Chorale with a hymn-like chordal structure alternating with long melodic lines. The second movement, Dance, is in direct contrast with fast, exuberant rhythms which give a feeling of joy and exultation. Double-stopping and drone techniques are employed by the violin and the rhythmic energy is explained by Schultz as ‘possibly influenced by the rich world of folk-style-violin playing’.”

[Elaine Siversen, Fine Music, July 2012.]

Schultz’s Sound Lur and Serpent – SSO in China and Sydney

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Bronze Age Lur; 13th-5th Century B.C.

Sound Lur and Serpent is a work for brass and percussion composed by Andrew Schultz for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s tour of China in late June and early July 2014. The orchestra, conducted by  Chief Conductor, David Robertson, presented performances in Shanghai, Jinan, Beijing, Xi’an, Hangzhou,  Shenzhen, and Guangzhou with the new work by Schultz opening the concerts. 
On 22, 23 and 24 July 2015, the Sydney Symphony again present the work – this time under Vasily Petrenko, at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. Click here for details.

Composer’s Note – Sound Lur and Serpent,  for brass and percussion, Opus 98 (2014)

Sound lur and serpent is a short work that taps into the mythology and drama of brass and percussion and their use to signal, warn and celebrate. The work was commissioned by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and their Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, David Robertson, for the orchestra’s 2014 tour of China. The work was composed during a period as an artist in residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris in April 2014.

Sound lur and serpent. Strike drum and gong. Run!  Fire breathes to swallow. Flee, while flee you can.

In 2010 I came across the wonderful collection of ancient musical instruments in the Deutsches Museum in Munich which includes a Lur from the Bronze Age and some more recent Serpents.  The Lur and Serpent are old brass instruments with extraordinary primal shapes drawing on the horns of great beasts and the curves of snakes. Whilst at the Museum I wrote the above short poem in my sketchbook and made a note, “Lur and Serpent – a good starting point for a fanfare.”

A few months before that, in November 2009, the weather bureau had issued Australia’s first Catastrophic bushfire danger rating.  The ratings of High, Very High, Severe and Extreme were no longer enough to cope with the continual and terrifyingly increasing presence of summer bushfires in the world’s driest inhabited continent. The two things – the presence of fire and the signalling power of brass and percussion – have merged in my mind to lead to this piece.

Andrew Schultz



Lur Photo Attribution:  Anagoria via Wikimedia Commons

Other resources

Schultz’s August Offensive at Gallipoli

“One of the most amazing performances that I was awake to hear was the Gallipoli Symphony playing an incredibly moving piece by Australian composer Andrew Schultz. The piece, titled The August Offensive,  is part eight of ten orchestrated movements which are composed each year, leading to the 100 year anniversary. At this milestone, in 2015, all ten movements will be orchestrated into one entire symphony. The powerful and emotive music transcended time and space and so skilfully created a vivid picture of wartime.”  http://thesharechair.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/anzac-day-gallipoli-lest-we-forget.html

August Offensive, Opus 92, is a new orchestral work by Andrew Schultz that had its premiere at the ANZAC Day dawn service at Gallipoli, Turkey on 25 April, 2013. The work is a seven minute piece commissioned by the Australian Government’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs as a part of the centenary of Gallipoli Symphony project.  The project, directed by Chris Latham, has involved the commissioning of new works by Australian, New Zealand and Turkish composers to eventually form a full length work for performance in 2015 – the centenary of the ANZAC landing. August Offensive is a climactic, fast and loud work commissioned in specific commemoration of the horrendous battles in August 1915 which saw some of the worst and most deadly fighting during the entire campaign.

Hear Chris Latham  in discussion of the symphony project on ABC Radio National’s Music Show.

Another of Andrew Schultz’s works which has taken on a war connection is the very gentle piece, Wild Flower.  It can be heard on YouTube in a performance by the Song Company from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, directed by the group’s Artistic Director, Roland Peelman.

“The Song Company, emerging from the terraces, drew with their voices the wreath across the waters, performing Andrew Schultz’s powerful contemporary Australian song Wild Flower.” Read more by Darren Mitchell about another notable performance of Wild Flower at the ANZAC Memorial in Sydney’s Hyde Park.

August Offensive and Wild Flower can be purchased in excellent studio recordings on iTunes and other digital platforms.

Beach Burial is a 12 minute work for chorus and orchestra – a setting of Kenneth Slessor’s World War Two poem of the same name. The poem describes the burial of sailors washed ashore at El Alamein after a sea battle. The work was commissioned by the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and Orchestra (Brett Weymark, conductor) who gave the work its premiere in November 2009 at the Sydney Opera House. The work was a finalist in the Art Music awards for 2011. A recording and score are available from the Australian Music Centre.

For more about August Offensive, Beach Burial and Wild Flower, here is a link to the catalogue section of the composer’s website.

Australia Ensemble perform three works by Andrew Schultz on YouTube

Excellent performances by the Australia Ensemble of After Nina, Circle Ground – Septet No. 2 and  One Sound – Quintet for flute and strings by Andrew Schultz are now viewable on-line.

After Nina – Trio for clarinet, cello and piano, Opus 73 (2007)

View on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3ZvRbgbn-g

Circle Ground – Septet No. 2, Opus 52 (1996)
One Sound – Quintet for flute and strings, Opus 90 (2012)

View on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvJwqnFb_fY

Information about the pieces: www.andrewschultz.net

Information about the Australia Ensemble: www.ae.unsw.edu.au