We had spoken a long time ago about Australia on the occasion of my review of the cd of Australian composer Thomas Reine, and in the interview to the guitarist Geoffrey Morris.
We return in the kangaroo’s land with this cd entirely produced by the Naxos in 2010 and based on music of authors "down under."
Australia is mainly known, within the classical guitar, for the great John Williams and for the innovative luthier Greg Smallman, but this cd shows that there is a rich musical background for the guitar in Australia
To show this the guitarist born in Ukrainia Aleksandr Tsiboulski performs music by Ross Edwards (1943), Phillip Houghton (1954), Peter Sculthorpe (1929), Graeme Koehne (1956) and Brett Dean (1961).
By Ross Edwards we listen to Blackwattle Caprices (1998) by himself described as “light but intricate pieces, the first a song, the second a dance, or more exactly a maninya (Australian dance or chant)”. The three Guitar Dances (1994), arranged by Adrian Walter, offer an integrated trypticon. The first one combines folk’s elements with neo romantic melodic lines, suggesting the spirit of a dance. The second passage is a in a nighttime meditative mood, it opens with mysterious and sinister echoes, a sort of grisly dance with dramatic silences. The last dance is based on insistent rhythmic chords based on a circular dance movement.
Phillip Houghton has a rock, jazz and folk training, but with academic studies in the classical guitar and in composition. This is way he has defined his passage "Stelé": ”: Stele is strongly influenced by Greek art and mythology and the Grecian landscape. The word stele itself describes a headstone or monument, often erected on the coastline in memoriam of sailors and travellers lost at sea, or those never to return to their homeland. In a sense, they were beacons for lost souls.
Peter Sculthorpe is the decano among the present composers in this cd. He succeeds in exploring the qualities of the sound of the classical guitar in his composition From Kakadu (1993), devoted to John Williams, freely inspired to the nature of the Kakadu National Park in north Australia. Tsiboulski performs two other compositions in end cd, Into the Dreaming (1994), written always for John Williams and devoted to writer Maggie Hemingway's memory, it was inspired by a walk in the Valley of the Winds in Katajuta, in the Uluru National Park. 1986 Djilile, in origin a passage for piano arranged by for guitar by Stephen Wingfield, has been performed by John Williams to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on October 5 2003.
Graeme Koehne is the author than To Closed World Elegant of Feelings and Grand Design, commisionated and performed by Timothy Kain.
Last but not least: Brett Dean author of the Three Caprichos after Goya. Freely inspired by the famous Caprichoses, pictures of satirical inspiration on the different aspects of the Spanish society of the epoch painted by the great Francisco Goya (1746 -1828).
This cd is always to testimony of as the contemporary music continues on generously widening the repertoire for the classical six strings. Doubtful, sceptic and polemic this time are able only to listen and to keep silent.