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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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We expect this item to be back in stock and available for purchase on 23 Jan 2019.

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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

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

Awards & Prizes

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

Performances of this work

12 Oct 2018: at Opening Gala (Southcombe Park Stadium ). Featuring Lior, Damien Eckersley, Zoe Black, Claire Edwardes, Daniel de Borah, Tinalley String Quartet.

13 May 2018: at Compassion (Robert Blackwood Concert Hall). Featuring Monash Academy Orchestra, Nigel Westlake, Lior.

12 Mar 2018: at Adelaide Festival: Compassion (Adelaide Town Hall). Featuring Tinalley String Quartet, Andrew Meisel, Claire Edwardes, Daniel de Borah, Lior.

11 Jul 2017: at Lior and the Australian Youth Orchestra (Melbourne Recital Centre, Elisabeth Murdoch Hall). Featuring Lior, Nigel Westlake, Australian Youth Orchestra.

10 Jul 2017: at Lior and the Australian Youth Orchestra (Melbourne Recital Centre, Elisabeth Murdoch Hall). Featuring Australian Youth Orchestra, Lior, Nigel Westlake.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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