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Solitudo : alone in darkness.

  • Published by ABC Classics [4658392] — 1 CD (70 min.)
  • Purchase Price: $26.36 (Usually ships in 3-4 days) — Add to Cart
  • Library Availability: CD 726 — Available for loan


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Featured Australian works

  Work Composer PerformersDuration
Two soliloquies (1990) for soprano with string orchestra Christopher Willcock

Product details

Merlyn Quaife, soprano

State Orchestra of Victoria

Richard Mills, conductor

 Excerpts from two of the most important operas of our time as well as two orchestral song cycles comprise this fascinating new CD featuring the renowned Australian soprano Merlyn Quaife with the State Orchestra of Victoria and conductor Richard Mills.

Nixon In China is the groundbreaking opera by American minimalist composer John Adams. The centrepiece of this work is the regal soliloquy by the wife of Mao Tse-tung, who sings of the Cultural Revolution and her role in it.

From Richard Meale’s acclaimed opera Mer de Glace, based on the genesis of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein novel, we have a suite of important scenes, including ‘Claire’s Lament’ in which Mary’s sister Claire sings of her child being taken away by its father, Lord Byron.

 Notturni ed Alba is English composer John McCabe’s beautiful song cycle based on four medieval Latin poems depicting the progress of sunset to night to daybreak.

 Two Soliloquies is Melbourne composer Christopher Willcock’s setting of two heartfelt poems, one a mother’s lament and the other about the triumph of good over evil.

 The arresting cover painting Pale Gates at Sunrise  is by Australian artist Sandra Leveson.

Soprano Merlyn Quaife is one of our outstanding exponents of new music. She has sung with opera companies around the world, including the esteemed houses of Washington, Dusseldorf and Berlin. Currently she is coordinator of Voice Studies at Melbourne University.


Duration: 70 min.

Contents note: Notturni ed Alba / John McCabe -- 5 pieces from Mer de Glace: Claire Clairemont beside the lake ; On the Mer de Glace ; Prelude: Lake Geneva ; Village dance ; Mary Shelley's nightmare / Richard Meale -- Two soliloquies: Pieta ; Break of day / Christopher Willcock -- Madam Mao's aria / John Adams.

Contents note:

1. Pietá  -- 2. Break of day.

Capture session: Meale work recorded 6-8 September 1993 in the George Fairfax Studio, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne ; Willcock work recorddd 27-28 June 1997 in the Iwaki Auditorium, Melbourne.

Performers: Merlyn Quaife (soprano) ; State Orchestra of Victoria ; Richard Mills (conductor).

Liner notes include programme note and biographical notes on performers, and song texts.

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