14 April 2019


It's a big sprawling concoction that perhaps only a composer's mother could love. That's the way we'd all been talking of it, from the orchestra and from the choir, but we'd come to love it as we understood it better ... or at least as we recognised its complexities and movements. Someone mentioned that the parts don't obviously fit together. Perhaps that's an explanation: certainly it was hard to play along with a recording; Lenny's role was central. But the outcome could be sublime. This is Vaughan Williams Symphony no.1 that talks of the sea and seafarers. It's turbulent and sea-like and it runs for 4 movements over ~70 minutes. The final movement alone is 30mins. We'll be unlikely to play it again and probably unlikely to hear it but it was great. Again, the ole "she'll be right on the night" came through. I could see it on Lenny's face towards the end, that sense of satisfaction with work done well. And the first half was similarly special: the Australian premiere of On the beach, a suite taken from the film score by Christopher Gordon. Sparse and intriguing and telling a story of tragedy that we are coming to understand in our climate changing days. And not just the premier but also the conductor in the building. Along with 130 players and choral singers and two vocal soloists of note on stage. This was a big show and overwhelmingly satisfying in full flight.

National Capital Orchestra and Canberra Choral Society performed Vaughan Williams Symphony no.1 and Christopher Gordon On the beach suite at Llewellyn Hall. Leonard Weiss (conductor); vocal soloists were Chloe Lankshear (soprano) and David Greco (baritone). Dan Walker (chorus master) prepared the CCS. The bass end was covered by Kate Murphy, Geoff Prime and Eric Pozza (basses).

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