90th Anniversary Commission Concert

90thANNIVERSARY  COMMISSION CONCERT

ENSEMBLE LIAISON

David Griffiths, clarinet

Svetlana Bogosavljevic, cello Timothy Young, piano

2.00pm Saturday, 24 September 2011
ST JOHNS SOUTHGATE
20 CITY ROAD, SOUTHBANK

Meet the Artists

Ensemble Liaisonwas formed in 2006 and was named Ensemble in Residence at Monash University in 2010.Comprised of three internationally acclaimed musicians – David Griffiths (clarinet), Svetlana Bogosavljevic (cello) and Timothy Young (piano), they performed their debut concert for ABC Classic FM, which featured in ―The Best of Sunday Live 2006‖

In 2007 they presented the inaugural Ensemble Liaison and Friends Concert Series from Melbourne‘s BMW Edge, at Federation Square. Over the course of three exciting seasons they have collaborated with many wonderful musicians including Peter Coleman-Wright, Wilma Smith, Tony Gould, Caroline Henbest, Simon Oswell, EllizabethSellars, Roy Theaker, Fiona Sargeant, Monica Curro, Alex Henery, Mardi McSullea and Roger Jonsson.

In 2010 they were invited to move the series into the stunning Elisabeth Murdoch Hall at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Their first series included collaborations with soprano Cheryl Barker and violinist Ray Chen.Their 2011 season includes collaborations with internationally acclaimed soprano, Emma Matthews, stunning Norwegian violin virtuoso Henning Kraggerud, principal members of the Australian Ballet and drumming wizard, David Jones.

In October they will be undertaking a 10-concert tour for Chamber Music New Zealand with violinist Wilma Smith. Other 2011 engagements include a tour of NSW for Musica Viva, and performances in Adelaide, Tasmania and regional Victoria.

They have appeared on ABC TV‘s Sunday Arts program, had many of the performances streamed live on the web around the world and have been recorded many times for broadcast on ABC Classic FM and 3MBS FM.

Critics have hailed their performances as: spellbinding, flawless, a revelation, moving, joyous, polished, stunningly blended, engaging, powerful and having boundless lyricism, enthusiasm and dexterity and audiences appreciate the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of their concerts.

Their first CD featuring works by Zemlinsky and Messiaenwill be released in October 2011 on the acclaimed Melba Recordings label.

David Griffiths, clarinet is Lecturer in Clarinet and Coordinator of Woodwind and Brass at the School of Music – Conservatorium, Monash University. David is renowned for his dynamic and virtuosic performances. Equally at home in Klezmer, ragtime, improvisation, classical and contemporary genres, he has appeared as Guest Principal Clarinet with every major Australian Orchestra and performed chamber music on many of the world‘s great stages.

90th Anniversary Commission Background

When the Lyrebird Music Society Committee was exploring ways in which it could celebrate its 90th anniversary and apply for funding, the idea of having a special commission written was hatched. It was perceived that a commission was a fitting way for the Society to leave a legacy from the occasion, an ethos cultivated by the Society‘s founder, Louise Hanson Dyer. Such a work also provided a mechanism for remembering Louise and acknowledging her extensive contribution to the writing, performance and preservation of fine music works.

Once our funding application was known to have been successful, the search began for a suitable composer. The Committee at the time was unanimous in its view that a woman composer would be desirable given that Louise herself was a successful businesswoman, musician and philanthropist.

Jane Hammond was offered and accepted the commission. Jane was viewed as being well suited to the task as she had been exploring the topic of birds and music as part of her composing. In 2010 she had written a piece called Bowerbirds, for saxophone and piano, using the recording of a Satin bowerbird as inspiration.

The ideas that Jane presented of exploring Louise’s reasons for using the Lyrebird as the emblem of her music publishing house fitted with the Committee‘s vision for the work.  A further connection between Jane and the subject was that the 2006 Baillieu Library Exhibition of Louise HansonDyer‘s musical artifacts and memorabilia was titled ‗Bowerbird to Lyrebird‘.

The Society gratefully acknowledges the City of Melbourne for the funding provided for this Commission and the premiere performance.

A Lyrebird in Paris

Composer’s note

Barry Humphries has said, ―If you do come from Melbourne, I‘m afraid
there‘s no escape. It‘s always with you.‖[1]

At the age of 42, Louise Dyer left Melbourne with her husband Jimmy to make her home in Europe. However, she continued to return physically and mentally to Melbourne, frequently supporting musicians and composers from Australia, and finally bequeathing most of her Australian estate, valued for probate at £241,380[2], to the University of Melbourne. She also specified that her remains be buried at Melbourne Cemetery. Although she established Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre in Paris, Louise chose to name her publishing and recording company after a bird that is native to areas close to Melbourne – the Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae).

The theme of connection to place is an important one for human beings today as we struggle to come to terms with our relationship with our natural environment. Incorporating my response to bird song in my compositions is an engagement with the notion that I am part of an environment, just as these birds are. Of course, I am not the first composer to be fascinated and inspired by birdsong. The first aim of the Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre was to produce a complete edition of the music of the French Baroque composer François Couperin (le grand), the twelve volume set appearing in 1933. Amongst his many hundreds of pieces for harpsichord are his own tributes to birds, pieces such as Le Rossignol-en-amour (The Nightingale in Love) and Les Fauvétes Plaintives (The Plaintive Warblers). Snatches of Couperin can be heard during A Lyrebird in Paris.

Flair, inventiveness, a passionate energy for life, a commitment to excellence and beauty – these are just some of the characteristics that I felt Louise Hanson-Dyer shared with the lyrebird. I hope my tribute to her and to the lyrebird captures some of this spirit.

  • Jim Davidson, Lyrebird Rising: Louise Hanson-Dyer of Oiseau-Lyre, 1884-1962, Melbourne University Press at the Miegunyah Press, Carlton, 1994, p.203.
  • Jim Davidson, ‘Dyer, Louise Berta Mosson Hanson (1884–1962)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/dyer-louise-berta-mosson-hanson-6070/text10391, accessed 17 September 2011.

Svetlana Bogosavljevic, cello, Originally from Belgrade, Serbia, Svetlana has delighted audiences throughout Europe, Asia and Australasia with her rich and expressive tone. Hailed as, ―an accomplished musician in full control of a rich palette of colours and emotions‖ she has appeared with many notable musicians and ensembles including the North German Radio Orchestra and the Cologne Chamber Orchestra.

Timothy Young, piano, is a Resident Artist and Coordinator of Piano, at the Australian National Academy of Music and enjoys a reputation as one of Australia‘s leading pianists.  Described by critics as a ―rare talent‖ he regularly performs a wideranging repertory in recital as a soloist and in partnership with leading Australian and international musicians and ensembles.

Jane Hammond, composer

“Some of the most lyrically ravishing music-making I have heard this year … Voicing Emily isa work of ravishing beauty and rare artistic distinction”. (John Slavin, The Age, Melbourne, 2007)

Jane Hammond works in Melbourne as a conductor, pianist and composer with major Australian arts organisations. She has composed original music for mainstream and community theatre, and the concert stage, for ensembles and companies including the Victoria State Opera, Opera Australia, and the Melbourne International Festival.

Her operas for children, written for professional singers, have been performed around Australia, in Asia and Europe, including at the Edinburgh Childrens‘ Festival. In total Jane has composed five of these fully sung, through-composed operas. Originally commissioned by the Victoria State Opera and Opera Australia they introduce young people to the operatic voice and live theatre. In 2002—2003 a new production of one of these operas, Software, toured Victoria and New South Wales for Opera Australia.

In 2007 the new music theatre work Voicing Emily, for which Jane was composer and musical director, was produced in a sell-out season at the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne. Her new work for wind symphony, Dancing with Ghosts, was selected as part of the national Australian Section for the ISCM World Music Days 2011. From the Gallows Tree for speaking voice, prepared piano and recorders can be heard on the recent Move CD Flowers.

Jane lectures in theory, history and practical subjects at the School of Music – Conservatorium, Monash University where she is also currently undertaking doctoral research.

Program

Beethoven: Piano Trio No. 4 in B flat major Op. 11

―Gassenhauer‖ for Clarinet, Cello and Piano I    Allegro con brio

  • Adagio
  • Tema ―Priach‘iol‘impegno‘ – Allegretto – Allegro

Jane Hammond: A Lyrebird in Paris (World Premiere)

Paul Schoenfield: Refractions for Clarinet, Cello and Piano

  • Toccata
  • March
  • Intermezzo IV Tarantella

**You are invited to meet the artists after the concert over light refreshments**

Program Notes

Beethoven: Piano Trio No. 4 in B flat major Op. 11 ―Gassenhauer‖ for Clarinet, Cello and Piano

Beethoven originally composed his Op.11 Trio for Clarinet, Piano and Cello in 1797. The Trio has the nickname “Gassenhauer” or “Street Song” Trio because of the theme in the last movement, which derives from a popular song of the day, ‘Priach’iol’impegno’ (“Before I begin work, I must have something to eat”) from Joseph Weigl’s opera L’AmourMarinaro. During the 1790s, woodwind instruments enjoyed a particular popularity mostly due to their novelty, and many composers wrote chamber works for the instruments. Consequently, the Piano Trio No. 4 is the only work in Beethoven’s trio cycle to be scored for clarinet, cello and piano. To broaden the appeal of the trio-as well as to improve its sales-Beethoven transcribed the trio for violin, cello and piano; the violin part is nearly identical to the original clarinet part.

The key of the piece is B flat major and was probably chosen to facilitate the technical passages in the clarinet. It is in three movements, the first begins with a graceful theme and on the whole is much under the shadow of Mozart and Haydn. A brief chorale-like subject is heard in the exposition that is later expanded in the development and combined with the opening chromatic gesture of the movement.The following Adagio begins with a lyrical melody in the cello and repeated by the clarinet. The finale presents a simple folk-like tune and Beethoven winds out Weigl’s captivating melody through nine variations that are essentially playful improvisations, meant mainly to delight and amuse the listener.Only the piano is usedin Variation 1 followed by a duet between the clarinet and cello in Variation 2. Variation 4 and 7 are in the tonic minor. Like many of his variations, including those of his later period, Beethoven presents the theme in its original form as the last variation. A series of trills on the piano (also a technique used extensively in his later period) leads into the brilliant coda that closes the piece.

Jane Hammond: A Lyrebird in Paris (World Premiere)

Paul Schoenfield: Refractions for Clarinet, Cello and Piano

Paul Schoenfield (b. 1947) is an American composer remarkable for his light-hearted wit and imaginative concepts. Refractions, makes a serious bid for long-term repertoire inclusion. Written early in 2006, this clarinet trio was a joint commission by Yehuda Hanani‘s Close Encounters with Music, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and the University of Cincinnati. In every way the 24-minute trio reflects the nurturing cultural soil in which it developed. The forms of each movement are classically formal, while musical delights abound. It encapsulates and moves effortlessly from Jewish influences to jazz to mainstream classical.

The four movements are based on music from Mozart‘s The Marriage of Figaro. But the work doesn‘t follow the familiar pattern of paraphrase and variation; rather, as the title suggests, it‘s a convoluted take on the opera‘s arias and recitatives, the source references often barely discernible even to knowledgeable opera buffs.The opening Toccata, for example, is based on the opera‘s Overture, which is barely alluded to; what sticks in the mind is a lively Hassidic wedding tune. The March movement, based on ―Non piu andrai‖, hints at Prokofiev, and the final Tarantella has an element of ragtime about it.

Schoenfield exploits the harmonic and timbralpotentials of instrumental combinations such as the unison clarinet/cello in the opening Toccata, and varies the instrumental spotlight to focus on the clarinet cadenza in the Intermezzo, followed by brief solos by the cello and piano.