Concert 2
Sunday 21 June, 5:00 pm

<p>The Carmelites<br>216 Richardson Street<br>Middle Park</p>

Tickets

For tickets call Astra on (03) 9326 5424, or

Feldman et al I

pure sound, textual theatre, acoustic space

The first of two concerts of works by Morton Feldman and associated American composers, which form the material for Astra’s second recording project with New World Records in New York, aimed for release in 2016 /2017. These appear alongside works by contemporary composers from Australia, New Zealand and Romania.

Concert Head: 

Morton Feldman, Chorus and Instruments (1963), Projections 1 for solo cello (1950)
J.S. Bach, Sing to the Lord a New Song, motet on 3 psalms (1727)
Jack Body, Psalm 103 (rev. 2015) - first performance
Paul Kopetz, Fort VII, for the victims of Poznań (2014) - first performance

with works by Vlad Răzvan Baciu, Pascal Bentoiu, Tiberiu Olah, Radu Paladi, Maia Ciobanu, Maura Capuzzo, Arnold Schoenberg

Concert Support: 

The first of two concerts of works by Morton Feldman and associated American composers, which form the material for Astra’s second recording project with New World Records in New York, aimed for release in 2016 /2017. These appear alongside works by contemporary composers from Australia, New Zealand and Romania.

From Brisbane, Paul Kopetz in his piece Fort VII has created a setting of the Stabat Mater as a response to visiting the notorious prison of that name in occupied Poland during WW2, outside the ancient city of Poznań. The Polish prayer heard in the piece sets off a series of East European elements in this concert. The New Zealander Jack Body made a lifetime’s work drawing musical materials from outside West European experience. His Hebrew setting of Psalm 137 is inspired by Russian strotchny chant and Celtic keening. It joins two other contrasted psalm settings, which Jack Body revised for the Astra Choir in February this year, shortly before his death in May 2015. This concert thus marks the loss of one of the keen creative spirits of the Australasian region.

The works of the American Morton Feldman, among the most original of the last century, placed musical sounds into a new kind of pure spatial expression, often compared to the Abstract Expressionists in painting, with whom he was closely associated. In the rarely heard composition Chorus and Instruments, choral sound is entirely freed from text and narrative, set among the sounds of an unorthodox instrumental combination, far below and above those of the voices. JS Bach’s largest unaccompanied chorus Sing to the Lord a New Song also at times transports its psalm texts into a zone of pure contemplation and jubilation between two separated choirs – the work at which Mozart was reported to have shouted out in astonishment, when he heard a performance in Leizpig in 1780.

Shorter works from three generations of Romanian composers extend the adventures of this concert into unusual musical zones. The wordless choral prologue to Pascal Bentoiu’s opera Hamlet introduces an array of choral poetry by his younger compatriots, while the choral writing of the Venetian Maura Capuzzo “invents” an acoustic space even beyond that of the literal performance-location, in its contemplation of the distant moon.

The Astra Choir with soloists and instrumental ensemble including Alister Barker, solo cello conducted by John McCaughey