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Compassion : a song cycle in seven movements, based on a collection of ancient Hebrew and Arabic texts

by Lior and Nigel Westlake (2013)

Score Sample

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Audio Sample

Performance by Sydney Symphony, Lior, Nigel Westlake from the CD Compassion

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Compassion / Nigel Westlake, Lior ; Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Library shelf no. CD 2522 [Not for loan]

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Work Overview

Compassion" draws from the rich worlds of Islam and Judaism to present a collection of profound and poetic messages surrounding the idea of compassion between human beings. The texts are largely a collection of poems, proverbs and songs that give us an insight into such wisdom. Their similarities are immense and their universality is undeniable. Far from the misguided commentaries that have so often steered humanity away from the true enactment of compassion, these texts affirm that attaining a greater sense of compassion is an ultimate goal, and letting it guide our actions is the ultimate wisdom.

Work Details

Year: 2013

Instrumentation:  2 flutes (2nd doubling piccolo/alto flute), 2 oboes (2nd doubling cor anglais), 2 clarinets (2nd doubling bass clarinet), 2 bassoons (2nd doubling contra-bassoon), 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, harp, piano/celeste, percussion (5 players), timpani, strings (, tenor voice (amplified).

Duration: 40 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: 1. Sim Shalom: Grant Peace -- 2. Eize Hu Chacham?  Who is Wise? -- 3. La Yu’minu: Until You Love Your Brother -- 4. Inna Rifqa: The Beauty Within -- 5. Al Takshu L’vavchem: Don’t Harden Your Hearts -- 6. Ma Wadani Ahadun: Until the End of Time -- 7. Avinu Malkeinu: Hymn of Compassion.

Commission note: Commissioned by Sydney Symphony.

First performance: by Lior, Sydney Symphony, Nigel Westlake at Sydney Symphony: Lior & Westlake (Sydney Opera House, Concert Hall) on 6 Sep 2013

Commissioning and Dedication info from Contribute:

Compassion is a joint commission by Nigel Westlake and Lior Attar Commissioned by the Sydney Symphony Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor Vladimir Ashkenazy For the Sydney Symphony and the Australian Symphony orchestras with the support of Symphony Services International

First performance info from Contribute:

Sydney Opera House September 6th 2013 Sydney Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nigel Westlake. Lior Attar - vocal solo

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2014 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Orchestral Finalist Nigel Westlake

Performances of this work

15 Feb 2014: at Lior and Nigel Westlake - Compassion (Sidney Myer Music Bowl). Featuring Nigel Westlake, Lior, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

7 Feb 2014: at Compassion: Lior and Westlake (Festival Theatre - Adelaide Festival Centre). Featuring Lior, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Nigel Westlake.

7 Feb 2014: at ASO: Lior & Westlake (Festival Theatre - Adelaide Festival Centre). Featuring Nigel Westlake, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

11 Dec 2013: at WASO: Lior & Westlake (Perth Concert Hall). Featuring West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Lior, Nigel Westlake.

28 Sep 2013: at QSO: Compassion (Westlake & Lior) (QPAC Concert Hall). Featuring Nigel Westlake, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Lior.

7 Sep 2013: at Sydney Symphony: Lior & Westlake (Sydney Opera House, Concert Hall). Featuring Sydney Symphony, Nigel Westlake, Lior.

6 Sep 2013: at Sydney Symphony: Lior & Westlake (Sydney Opera House, Concert Hall). Featuring Lior, Sydney Symphony, Nigel Westlake.

Sep 13: Sydney Opera House. Featuring Sydney Symphony, Lior, Nigel Westlake.

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