ROSS EDWARDS (b.1943): Symphony No. 1 "Da pacem Domine", Maninyas for Violin and Orchestra, Yarrageh - Nocturne for Percussion and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 05P084
Label: ABC Classics
Reference: 481 0549
Description: Maninyas is an attractive, thoroughly accessible violin concerto in largely traditional neo-romantic mold. The work's insistent, repeated gestures, modal scales and harmony, drone effects and sonorous percussion underpinning the texture are the thoroughly absorbed influences of traditional musics from aboriginal and eastern cultures. The outer movements are lively, while the slow movement is equally divided between an extended, florid cadenza followed by a rapt, introspective chorale, over which the violin sings a haunting, lonely melody. The symphony is a darker, serious work, a plea for peace at the time of the first Gulf War and a memorial, as it turned out, to the conductor Stuart Challender, composed during his final illness. A fragment of the plainchant that gives the work its title is incorporated into the piece, a slow, monumental cortège, obsessively brooding over a pulsing rhythmic ostinato like a failing heartbeat. Yarrageh, an aboriginal word for the spirit of Spring, is a meditative study in exotic timbres, slowly and organically evolving like the echoes of some strange, ancient ritual. Dene Olding (violin), Ian Cleworth (percussion), Anthony Baldwin (piano), Sydney Symphony Orchestra; David Porcelijn, Stuart Challender (Maninyas). Original 1993 release.