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ACO – Music to Heal

Thu 7 May

Mindfulness, wellbeing and the restorative powers of music.

Music’s ability to lift us from despair or deep pain, or at least express our response to spiritual and physical wellness, are neither new nor new age, as 12th-century composer and healer Hildegard von Bingen well understood.

English violinist Hugo Ticciati, who will direct this program of meditative but emotionally charged music in his Australian debut, experienced these qualities and “the interconnectedness of everything” as he sought ways to alleviate physical pain so severe it would force him to stop playing. Exploring such responses to life-changing upheavals, Latvian composer Peˉ teris Vasks’ neo-spiritual ‘Lonely Angel’ was written as a meditation on Mother Earth and redemption. Beethoven’s ‘String Quartet in A minor’, a hymn of thanksgiving that begins as a slow prayer before becoming jubilant and ecstatic, emerged from Beethoven’s recovery from a serious illness.

An even greater blow to Beethoven, the realisation of inevitable early deafness, saw his utter despair and futility expressed in the unsent letter of farewell known as the ‘Heiligenstadt Testament’. Australian Brett Dean’s ‘Testament’ draws inspiration from this writing, capturing the fluctuations of hesitancy and passion, and the search for clarity, for healing, in this “wretched despair”.

TAVENER ‘Mother of God, Here I Stand’ (arr. strings) 3′
PHILIP GLASS ‘Company for string orchestra’ 8′
MAX RICHTER ‘On the Nature of Daylight – Australian Premiere’ 6′
TERRY RILEY ‘Half-Wolf Dances Mad in Moonlight’ – Australian Premiere 8′
PĒTERIS VASKS ‘Lonely Angel: Meditation for violin and string orchestra’ 13′
BRETT DEAN ‘Testament’ (arr. strings) 15′
HILDEGARD ‘Vos flores rosarum’ (arr. strings) 5′
BEETHOVEN ‘String Quartet in A minor: III. Holy song of thanksgiving of a convalescent to the Deity, in the Lydian mode. Molto adagio – Andante’ (arr. strings) 17′

Cast & Creative Team

Guest Director & Violin Hugo Ticciati

Coming Up…