Venus asleep : chamber ensemble
by Michael Whiticker (1986, this version: 1993)
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Originally composed in 1987 but reworked in 1993, Venus Asleep was written for the Elision ensemble.
Looking back on this work, some 20 plus years later, I remember being excited by the passion of Elision's performers and Director Daryl Buckley's initial promoting of the ensemble as, "the performers who wear red shoes", (I believe it was). This inspired the style of my work - somewhat in a post minimalist, post romantic, post modernist vein in that it takes a big theme (perhaps a little too angular and strident for post minimalism) and then repeats it in many and various guises.
A better program note is found in the reviews of the time.
"Whiticker's Venus Asleep is thoroughly engaging. After a strident, edgy opening, the score becomes complex and imaginative with splendidly forceful percussive effects."
The Australian, 2.87
"Of the two works recycled from the previous concert, Whiticker's Venus Asleep gained in stature and virtuosity of performance. It is direct and stern in its language, imbued with energy and occasional soaring unison instrumental lines, leavened with jagged block-chords that whip across the sinewy texture: a most impressive piece that radiates vitality." (Clive O'Connell) The Age, late 1987
Year: 1986, this version: 1993
Instrumentation: Clarinet/bass clarinet, violin, viola, double bass, guitar, mandolin, percussion.
Duration: 7 min.
Written for: Elision Ensemble
Commission note: Commissioned by New Audience Ensemble.
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