International Women's Day Choral
- Date: Tuesday, 8 March 2016, 8pm
- Venue: Good Shepherd Chapel (Abbotsford) — St Heliers St, Abbotsford, VIC
- Tickets: General: $35 | Concession: $20 | Music Students: $15 | Friends of the choir: $10 — Tickets can be purchased online
International Women’s Day on Tuesday 8 March enjoys a choral celebration in 2016, with the first Astra concert of the season. When male composers are done without in a program for choir, a special vista opens up of very particular times, places and personalities through which women creators of music made their voices heard, even in the epoch of Western music up to the mid twentieth century, when social conventions largely excluded them.
From the history-laden environment of the Abbotsford Convent the concert takes two half-millennial steps back to earlier monasteries, to Milan with Chiara Margarita Cozzolani in the 17th century and to the German Rhineland with Hildegard von Bingen in the late Middle Ages – both of them figures who drew international interest to their work. Spanning the Romantic era, Louise Reichardt, Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel and Alma Mahler demonstrate rich musical characters without being accorded the recognition of their close composer relatives.
More recent works offer a varied display of personalities and themes from Australia, the USA, Romania and Italy. The more ancient origins of the Abbotsford site on the river bushland resonate in Judy Pile’s incorporation of the Woiwurrung words of the Wurundjeri people ‘peace on earth’, among other languages ranging from Tetum to Vietnamese. Three premiered works in the concert build a contemporary sound out of a historical perspective. The exclamation mark of Marguerite Boland’s Ave Maria! prepare the listener for some musical cross-currents in an ancient Latin text. Livia Teodorescu’s Vespers setting of the Slavonic words of the Orthodox liturgy forms the prologue of a just-completed opera on Chekhov’s story “The Lady with the Dog”. Catherine Schieve in her multi-form spatial work characteristically reflects on a wider external space, transported musically into the environment of the concert. In this case, it is yet another monastery where she has recently worked, New Norcia, the Spanish Benedictine Monastery, in Aboriginal country north of Perth.
Featured non-Australian music: Hildergard von Bingen (12thC), Chiara Margarita Cozzolani (1642), Louise Reichardt (1823), Fanny Hensel (1846), Alma Mahler (1901), Johanna Beyer (1937), Ruth Crawford (1940), Pauline Oliveros (1961), Elisabeth Lutyens (1971), Cindy John (1989) and more
Featured Australian Works
||Hymn for Saint Brigid : for SATB choir, a cappella (2002) by Jennifer Fowler|
— performed by Astra Improvising Choir
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