Celebrating Australian Music presents a wonderful programme of music on 10 May at London’s National Liberal Club. This week we find out more about the music…

Rebecca Clarke
Rebecca Clarke

Rebecca Clarke Epilogue; Passacaglia on an Old English Tune

By the age of 24 Clarke (pictured) had a reputation as an outstanding viola player, having studied with Lionel Tertis and Charles Villiers Stanford. Her Passacaglia of 1941 was later transcribed for cello. Performer Coral Lancaster describes the Epilogue as ‘a soulful, brooding work’.

Horace and Brennan Keats
Horace and Brennan Keats

Horace Keats: The Orange Tree

Brennan Keats: Moons as Big as Mountains (UK premiere)

Two composers from the same family, with texts by fellow Australians: English-born Australian composer, arranger, piano accompanist and conductor Horace Keats was known as ‘the Schubert of Australia’. His son, Brennan is also a composer whose Moons as Big as Mountains will be heard in the UK for the first time.

Wendy Hiscocks
Wendy Hiscocks

Wendy Hiscocks: Songline (London premiere)

Songline relates to the Aboriginal songlines used by the native people to navigate the Australian landscape. The cello and piano travel the northern part of the Illawarra, a region where the composer was born and grew to love as a child.

Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Six Studies in English Folk Song

By 1926 Vaughan Williams was Professor of Composition at the Royal College of Music and was well established as a composer with three symphonies, Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and his popular Lark Ascending to his credit. These folk song settings reflect his interest and involvement in The English Folk Dance Society and his eventual status as one of the leaders in the ‘English School’ renaissance.

Don Banks
Don Banks

Don Banks: Five North Country Folk Songs

Soon after arriving in London, the Melbourne composer Don Banks was displaying his flair for film music while earning his living arranging light music during the 1950s. His Five North Country Folk Songs (1954) shows the influence of his father’s musical world as a professional jazz musician.

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