Master Series II
Join the DSO as we continue our exploration of the music of Dmitri Shostakovich and welcome back to the orchestra one of our favourite and cherished soloists Michael Kieran Harvey. We also continue our exploration and celebration of the music of Peter Sculthorpe, one of Australia’s greatest composers whose affinity with the Northern Territory played a significant role in his inspiration and output. In this concert we perform what many regard as one of his most important and greatest works – Kakadu.
The work takes its name from the Kakadu National Park in northern Australia. This enormous wilderness area stretches from coastal tidal plains to rugged mountain plateaux, and in it may be found the living culture of its Aboriginal inhabitants, dating back for fifty thousand years. Sadly, today there are only a few remaining speakers of kakadu or gagadju. The work, then, is concerned with my feelings about this place, its landscape, its change of seasons, its dry season and its wet, its cycle of life and death. In three parts, the outer sections are dance-like and energetic, sharing similar musical ideas. The central section is somewhat introspective, and is dominated by a cor anglais solo. … Apart from this solo, the melodic material in Kakadu, as in much of my recent music, was suggested by the contours and rhythms of Aboriginal chant. — Peter Sculthorpe