American Harmonies

Thursday 28 November 2019 to Saturday 30 November 2019

Overview

From the crashing chords of the beginning to the glittering ecstasy of its finale, composer John Adams’ Harmonielehre has the unstoppable energy of a rocket – or of the levitating oil tanker that Adams saw in the dream that inspired the piece.

Meshing churning minimalism with achingly lyrical melodies, Adams creates a powerful new kind of musical Romanticism. As the name suggests, it is a surprising lesson in the power of harmony. Hear this exhilarating symphonic dynamo seduce and astound three decades on, performed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring uses wide-open harmonies and folk-like themes to evoke rural America: dignified and spare. This impressionistic music of heart-swelling nobility and vitality is the sound of America.

Christopher Rouse’s forceful gestures and searing colours meet the bassoon’s idiosyncratic persona in his new concerto. Co-commissioned by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, it will be given its Australian premiere by Sydney Symphony's brilliant young Principal Bassoon, Todd-Gibson Cornish.

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