The Sydney Chamber Choir - Solander
The Governors Centre
Cleveland St
More Park
NSW
15 May, 2021 - 15 May, 2021
07:30 pm - 09:00 pm

A world premiere performance of a new song cycle based on the life of the Swedish botanist, Daniel Solander, who accompanied James Cook on his first Pacific voyage.

The composer writes:

I was first drawn to the story of Daniel Solander, the highly acclaimed Swedish botanist and talented linguist, after many visits to Sweden, where I had the opportunity to appreciate the diversity of its people, the splendid landscape and the extreme winters - vastly different from the world that I was used to on the other side of the earth.   This song cycle is written in celebration of Solander’s important contribution to scientific discovery and the great courage and commitment it demanded from him.  

It begins with Solander’s childhood in the north of Sweden.  It opens with a gentle reference to the indigenous people of northern Sweden, the Sami, singing a lullaby. It goes on to follow him on his two-year journey to Australia on the Endeavour as assistant to Joseph Banks in 1768.  It concludes with a farewell to Solander, where we hear the same Sami motif return in the final bars.

There are seven movements for a combination of voices, ranging from two soloists to full SATB choir.  The only instrument is a vibraphone.  The movements are linked by a narrative spoken by John Gaden.  Rodney Fisher has provided the beautiful narrative and many of the lyrics. 

I have been moved to respond to Solander’s life story and to acknowledge, through my music, this extraordinary individual whose work, in spite of its significance and its relevance here, remains relatively unknown in Australia today.

SYDNEY CHAMBER CHOIR

SAM ALLCHURCH
Conductor

JOHN GADEN
Narrator

 

KATE REID
Solander: A Song Cycle