American Harmonies

Thursday 28 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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