At a time when lockdowns and isolation have given us pause to delve deep inside ourselves, and with the natural world increasingly threatened by the destruction of human activity, this program speaks to big questions about our relationships with each other and with our planet.
Gardens were a fertile source of metaphors for the composer of the renaissance. Tomás Luis de Victoria’s breezy Vidi speciosam and Clemens non Papa’s lush Ego flos campi offer a vision of a divinely ordered perfect landscape, setting the exquisite poetry of the Song of Songs. The return of spring in Monteverdi’s heart-wrenching Zefiro torna makes the loss of love all the more tragic.
Benjamin Britten’s music explores ideas of the soul and its creativity. His radical Hymn to St Cecilia is a paean to music as an expression of the soul, and a lament for the loss of childhood innocence. The sacred soul of the Virgin Mary is the subject of two smaller works: Rosa mystica and Hymn to the Virgin, written when the composer was only 17.
The centrepiece of the program is a new song cycle by Australian composer Joseph Twist which responds to the realities of dealing with climate change and caring for the natural world. Specially commissioned for Sydney Chamber Choir, this piece sets poetry by Australian writers past and present.
SYDNEY CHAMBER CHOIR
CLEMENS NON PAPA
Ego flos campi
Hymn to the Virgin
Hymn to St Cecilia
New work (World premiere)