The premiere of AWR, which was recorded at the Sydney Town Hall on August 10th ,2014,
will be broadcast by Fine Music102.5 FM on Anzac day, Saturday, 25th April at 4pm.
Don't miss this opportunity to experience this "moving and inspiring work".
The recording has also been chosen by Fine Music 102.5FM as its "CD of the week", prior to the broadcast.
August 2014 marked the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1. To honour this important anniversary and that of the Gallipoli campaign, theSydney University Graduate Choir commissioned composer and Music Director Christopher Bowen OAM to write an Australian War Requiem. The composition is inspired by letters between soldiers at the front and their mothers at home in a libretto by Pamela Traynor.
‘An Australian War Requiem’ premiered at the Sydney Town Hall at 3:00pm on Sunday, 10 August 2014 in the presence of the Governor-General, General the Hon.Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (retd) and Lady Cosgrove.
The forces required for the work (75 minutes duration) are S.S.T.B.B soloists, a large chorus, semi-chorus, children's choir and large orchestra . After its successful premiere, the work is now available for performance by other choirs around Australia and overseas. The following artists and choirs took part in the premiere.
Sydney University Graduate Choir and Orchestra (Leader Stan Kornel)
"George Faunce Allman" Guest Choir
Waitara Voices (Director: Jenny Bell)
Fort Street High School Choir (rehearsed by Lyndall Haylen)
Celeste Lazarenko (soprano)
Ayse Göknur Shanal (soprano)
Henry Choo (tenor)
Adrian Tamburini (bass)
Christopher Richardson (bass)
directed by Christopher Bowen
In 2012 Sydney University Graduate Choir (SUGC) submitted a proposal to the Federal Government through the Anzac Centenary Advisory Board for an original music composition and performance for the World War 1 centenaries. That proposal was accepted by the government, as part of the important national celebrations for these centenaries in recognition that this is the first large scale composition by an Australian composer to address the impact of the Great War, despite its importance in the development of the Australian sense of national identity. The choir was subsequently awarded an Arts and Culture grant from the Australian Government, through the Attorney General’s Department- Ministry for the Arts, for this important event.
The work was composed by SUGC’s Music Director, the Melbourne-born, Vienna-trained Christopher Bowen OAM, who has created a number of successful large-scale choral productions. The libretto for this new work by Pamela Traynor, is constructed from letters between soldiers at the front and their mothers in Australia, juxtaposed with text from the Stabat Mater depicting the grief of Mary at the suffering and death of her son. Mr Bowen received assistance from the Australian War Memorial in finding suitable material, and made a self-funded visit to Gallipoli and the battlefields of the Western Front in order to absorb the atmosphere of those places.
The work, a meditation on conflict and loss, is divided into three tableaux.
TABLEAU 1: The Horror of War
TABLEAU: Sons and Mothers
TABLEAU 3: Reflections on Loss