Celestial Rossini

Saturday 4 November, 7.30pm
The Concourse, Chatswood

409 Victoria Av, Chatswood, 2067         Directions

Peter Ellis:   Conductor

Caroline King:   Soprano
Yuanyuan Jin:   Mezzo soprano
Evan Kirby:   Tenor
Henry Wright:   Bass

Willoughby Symphony Choir

Stravinsky:   Pulcinella Suite
Rossini:   Stabat Mater


Adults $40
Pensioner $30
Student/junior $12

Tickets available here

In his enduringly popular Stabat Mater, Rossini's contemplation of the Virgin Mary's suffering over the crucifixion of her son, tenderness and nobility are favoured over grief and despair. The music is powerful and resolute, lighting a path towards the "glory of Heaven" which is magnificently revealed in the Finale. The poet Heinrich Heine said of the première in Paris that it was as if the theatre had become "a vestibule of Heaven." Replete with gorgeous vocal solos and profound choral and orchestral writing, this work presents a wonderful opportunity for the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic to join forces in a performance with the Willoughby Symphony Choir and a fine quartet of soloists under the baton of Peter Ellis.

As much as some critics may have raised their eyebrows at Rossini's ventures into the serious world of sacred music, around the year 1920, Igor Stravinsky's sudden engagement with 18th-century music shocked many. Defiantly, however, Stravinsky described his neoclassical ballet Pulcinella as "the epiphany through which the whole of my late work became possible." While largely preserving the melodies and bass lines of the original works by Pergolesi and several of his contemporaries, Stravinsky uses novel tone colours and playful rhythmic and harmonic distortions to subvert the classical framework, affectionately creating what has been described as a "collision of convention and modernity." For the concert hall, Stravinsky created a suite of eleven short movements which brilliantly capture the wittiness and occasional tragicomedy of this delightful ballet.