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Orchestral Works

CD

Orchestral Works / Frederick Septimus Kelly ; Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Northey, Johannes Fritzsch.

  • Published by ABC Classics — 2019 [4818890] — 2 CDs (96 min.)
  • Purchase Price: $22.73 (Usually ships in 2-5 business days) — Add to Cart
  • Library Availability: CD 3091 — Reference (not for loan) copy only

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Featured Australian works

  Work Composer PerformersDuration
Aghadoe — vocal music
Recorded/performed at: Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, on Feb 19.
Frederick Septimus Kelly Christina Wilson, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Northey 5 mins, 17 sec.
A Coin for the Ferryman for chamber ensemble
Recorded/performed at: Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, on Feb 19.
Frederick Septimus Kelly Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Northey 2 mins, 56 sec.
Crossing the Bar — vocal music
Recorded/performed at: Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, on Feb 19.
Frederick Septimus Kelly Christina Wilson, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Northey 2 mins, 40 sec.
Elegy for string orchestra (1915) in memoriam Rupert Brooke
Recorded/performed at: Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, on 10 Sep 14.
Frederick Septimus Kelly Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Johannes Fritzsch 9 mins, 10 sec.
German Symphony for orchestra
Recorded/performed at: Federation Concert Hall, Hobart
Frederick Septimus Kelly Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Northey 27 mins, 50 sec.
It is not dawn till you awake — vocal music
Recorded/performed at: Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, on Feb 19.
Frederick Septimus Kelly Andrew Goodwin, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Northey 4 mins, 10 sec.
Music, when soft voices die — vocal music
Recorded/performed at: Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, on Feb 19.
Frederick Septimus Kelly Andrew Goodwin, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Northey 2 mins, 6 sec.
Scherzo for orchestra
Recorded/performed at: Federation Concert Hall, Hobart
Frederick Septimus Kelly Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Northey 6 mins, 16 sec.
Serenade for flute, harp, horn and strings for orchestra
Recorded/performed at: Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, on Feb 18.
Frederick Septimus Kelly Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Douglas Mackie, Marshall McGuire, Geoff Lierse, Benjamin Northey 20 mins, 20 sec.
Shall I compare thee — mezzo-soprano with orchestra
Recorded/performed at: Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, on Feb 19.
Frederick Septimus Kelly Christina Wilson, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Northey 3 mins, 19 sec.
The Somme Lament for orchestra
Recorded/performed at: Federation Concert Hll, Hobart, on Feb 19.
Frederick Septimus Kelly Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Northey 5 mins, 3 sec.
Two organ preludes for string orchestra
Recorded/performed at: Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, on Feb 18.
Frederick Septimus Kelly Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Northey 6 mins, 51 sec.

Product details

Frederick Septimus Kelly was one of Australia's great cultural losses of World War One: a composer the equal of Vaughan Williams, who survived Gallipoli but was cut down in the final days of the Battle of the Somme. His music - crafted entirely in his head, and only committed to paper once perfected - displays touching lyricism and profound invention. Even during the war, he never stopped writing music: on troop ships during long ocean crossings, in training camps, in the trenches of Gallipoli, in a military hospital recovering from war wounds, in a bombed-out cellar barely 300 metres from enemy lines in France. This album presents his complete catalogue of orchestral works, many recorded here for the first time.

Born in Sydney, 'Sep' Kelly's precocious musical talent quickly moved beyond his local piano teachers, and he was sent to boarding school in England at Eton. There, alongside his advanced musical training, he began a career in rowing - a sport in which he would win a gold medal at the 1908 Olympic Games. From Eton to Oxford to conservatorium studies in Frankfurt, he excelled as both pianist and composer, writing his first symphony (which he modestly titled a Suite) in his mid 20s. The work, here renamed German Symphony, displays an astonishing fluency and command of orchestral colour, with hints of Brahms and Mahler and finishing with a magnificently extravagant fugue.

Tantalisingly, we know from Kelly's diaries that he composed at least two other symphonies, but never wrote them out. Three months before his death, he spoke of his many compositions 'waiting to be written - but there is no time to get them down on paper.' We do, however, have two major orchestral works which highlight the depth of the talent which was lost to us. The first of these is a Serenade of transcendental beauty for flute, harp, horn and strings, written at sea, on a journey home to Australia: the first movement on the Indian Ocean, the second off the coast of Western Australia, the third in the Great Australian Bight, the fourth off the coast of Victoria and the fifth off the coast of NSW.

In the Elegy in memoriam Rupert Brooke, Kelly pours out his grief in the wake of the death of the poet Rupert Brooke. The two had become close friends en route to Gallipoli, but Brooke was to die of septicaemia before they reached the Dardanelles. The music, composed in a dug-out with bullets whistling overhead, recalls the haunting beauty and strange tranquillity of Brooke's funeral, conducted by moonlight on the eve of battle in an olive grove on the Greek island of Skyros, the air perfumed with wild sage and thyme.

Duration: 96 min.

Liner notes include program notes.


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