Tag Archives | Kevin Purcell (Conductor)

2019 Event 1: Discover Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 8 in D minor

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known”

Carl Edward Sagan (1934-1996)

The Australian Discovery Orchestra’s 2019 season kicks off with an exploration of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ sublime late orchestral masterpiece, the Symphony No. 8 in D minor in the new critical edition by David Lloyd-Jones.

Andrián_PertoutWith it’s highly colouristic orchestration, it makes a perfect partner to the world premiere performance of Atoms of Silence by the outstanding Australian composer, Andrián Pertout, commissioned by Julian Burnside AO QC. ADO principal conductor, Kevin Purcell, conducts.


Aaron Copland’s Misunderstood Opera

With the first performance of the ADO coming up on May 29, I thought I would write a short introductory piece to the suite that Aaron Copland extracted from his ‘Americana’ opera, The Tender Land which we are performing along with Brenton Broadstock’s Made in Heaven: Concerto For Orchestra (rev.).

I find it fascinating that this opera is not better known.  I am assured by people in the know here (opera-wise) in New York that the opera is performed with some regularity – but not by major Opera companies.  I certainly know it was performed last year in Melbourne by Lyric Opera of Melbourne because I was asked to review it for Limelight but couldn’t with a schedule conflict.  I was also interested to see it, as I wanted to look at the young Australian conductor, Pat Miller.

All that aside, the opera appears to be a bit of an enigma.  I have sat and played the work at the piano.  Like all students of the pre-eminent French composition teacher, Nadia Boulanger, there is nothing in Copland’s score that is not securely and persuasively written.  In fact, it is beautifully rendered on a small scale as it was originally intended to be heard as a television opera. Continue Reading →