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Eternity. The Timeless Music of Australia’s Composers
Ross EDWARDS (b.1943)

Dawn Mantras

Sydney Children’s Choir, Cantillation, Jane Sheldon (soprano), Matthew Doyle (didjeridu), Jim Franklin (shakuhachi) Rixon Thomas (cor anglais) Ian Cleworth, Brian Nixon (percussion) Lyn Williams (conductor)
Lyn WILLIAMS (b.1963)

Ferry Me Across The Water

Marshall McGuire (harp)
Gondwana Voices/Lyn Williams
Peter SCULTHORPE (b.1929)

Small Town

Guy Henderson (oboe)
Sydney Symphony Orchestra/Stuart Challender
Graeme KOEHNE (b.1956)

Way Out West (excerpt)
Diana Doherty (oboe)
Sinfonia Australis/Mark Summerbell
Percy GRAINGER (1882-1961)


Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/David Stanhope
Nigel WESTLAKE (b.1958)/David HIRSCHFELDER (b.1959)

In Questa Stanza (inside this room)
David Hobson (tenor); David Hirschfelder (piano)
Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Marco Guidarini
Gordon KERRY (b.1961)


Duo Sol
Raffaele MARCELLINO (b.1964)

Hymn I from Heart of Fire
The Contemporary Singers
Sydney Alpha Ensemble/David Stanhope
Alan JOHN (b.1958)

Aftermath from The Bank
Paul McMahon (tenor), Mark Donnelly (baritone)
Cantillation, Sinfonia Australis/David Stanhope
Richard MEALE (b.1932)

Prelude; Lake Geneva from Scenes from Mer de Glace
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra/David Porcelijn
Elena KATS-CHERNIN (b.1957)

Russian Rag

Sydney Alpha Ensemble/David Stanhope
Sean O’BOYLE (b.1963)


Robert John (violin)
Orchestra Victoria/Sean O’Boyle
Richard CHARLTON (b.1955)

A Sky for Dreaming from Capricorn Skies
Guitar Trek
Miriam HYDE (b.1913)

Andante Tranquillo from Piano Concerto No.2 in C sharp minor
Miriam Hyde (piano)
West Australian Symphony Orchestra/Geoffrey Simon
Malcolm WILLIAMSON (1931-2003)

Lane Cove from Sydney Diaries
Antony Gray (piano)
Margaret SUTHERLAND (1897-1984)

Jesu, meine Freude from Two Chorale Preludes
David Locket (piano)
Lyle CHAN (b.1967)

Forever No.1 from Solo Piano
Lyle Chan (piano)
Alfred HILL (1870-1960)

Adagio from String Quartet No 10 in E major
Sydney String Quartet
John CARMICHAEL (b.1930)

Quiet Evening from A Little Night Music
Roger Armstrong (flute), John Carmichael (piano)
Peggy GALNVILLE-HICKS (1912-1990)

Gymnopéie III from Three Gymnopédies
Sydney Symphony Orchestra/Myer Fredman
Carl VINE (b.1954)

Movement II from Piano Concerto
Michael Kieran Harvey (piano)
Sydney Symphony Orchestra/Edo de Waart
No recording dates or locations
ABC CLASSICS 476 160-7 [78.08]


This compilation takes as its theme the ideas of timelessness and landscape. As is the way with such things one feels both curiosity and frustration in equal measure; curiosity as to the bigger picture of each work, frustration that we can only hear snippets, or isolated movements. Still, that’s the name of the game, and if one’s interest is stimulated then one knows where ABC’s catalogue is to be found.

There’s time only for a few brief comments. Most, if not all, of the works cleave to the romantic, or vaguely neo-classical idioms. Some, like Ross Edwards’ employ native instruments such as the didjeridu (that’s ABC’s spelling and I suppose they should know) and, like his, most are restful and lyric in the non-supine sense of the words. This isn’t an easy listening sampler – it’s much too full of grace and melodic curve for that. Sculthorpe fuses such lyricism with an evocative Last Post reminiscence and there’s fine pleine air from Koehne. Grainger is here, albeit only 2:30 of him, and he stands as a Mount Rushmore. I liked the old fashioned Westlake and the Neapolitan song aura of the Hobson/Hirschfelder.

One strand that runs through the disc is the visual-filmic element; several of these pieces derive from films or are themselves cinematic in sound; the John and the Meale are especially fine examples. There are also hints of other kinds of Australianness in the Russian Rag by Kats-Chernin though it would be nice if sleeve writers and cultural commentators could find another topic of burning import to take their minds off the hoary old subject of "Anglo-centrism." - whatever that is. Miriam Hyde plays the slow movement of her Concerto, one bathed in Rachmaninovian light. There’s a sample of Hill’s impressive quartet writing (get those Marco Polo Quartets and Symphonies while you can). There’s also more Glanville-Hicks (collected edition anyone? I’m waiting) as well as the rippling romance of Carl Vine.

If your heart’s in the right place I think you’ll come across some new avenues to explore. But Darmstadt hardliners need not apply.

Jonathan Woolf

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