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Vespers & Waiting for the Barbarians


Vespers & Waiting for the Barbarians

  • Date: Friday, 20 July 2012, 7:30pm
  • Venue: St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta — 1 Marist Place, Parramatta, NSW
  • Tickets: $45/$40 — Tickets can be purchased online

Event Details

The Sydney Philharmonia Symphony Chorus under guest conductor Graham Abbott will give the first performances of Andrew Ford's Waiting for the Barbarians. Commissioned jointly by Sydney Philhamonia Choirs and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Ford's setting of the C.P. Cavafy's famous poem had been contemplated by the composer for the best part of 40 years. The piece, for mixed a cappella chorus, uses a new version of the poem made by Ford himself.

From Russia, with reverence: Rachmaninov’s Vespers (All-Night Vigil) caress the ancient words of the Orthodox liturgy, drawing from them music of such profound majesty and awe that it seems to have tapped the very source of life itself. The colours of the Russian choral sound are like burnished gold and velvet night, a blend of spiritual and sensual pleasure.

Modern living has left many of us hungering for Time: time to reflect, to meditate, to breathe, to centre ourselves. The liturgies of the Russian Orthodox church offer rich, deep Time for the prayerful contemplation of the divine: ‘God is a mystery, and the knowledge of God is communicated in mystery . . . The mystery always remains; it is deepened by our knowledge.’ Nicholas Berdyaev (1874-1948). Rachmaninov’s music, steeped in the solemn traditions of the Orthodox liturgy, unfolds gently through perfumed layers of chant and ritual into a place of stillness, calm and joy.

Featured non-Australian music: Rachmaninov

Further information for this event is available online at the event's website

Featured Australian Works

Digital sheet music sample Waiting for the Barbarians : SATB choir (2011) by Andrew Ford — World premiere
— performed by Graham Abbott and Sydney Philharmonia Choirs

Featured artists

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