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University of Queensland Chamber Players / Jane Sheldon - Oranges under the Full Moon: Chamber Music by Paul Stanhope
“No-one eats oranges under the full moon / Fruit must be eaten green, ice-cold”
Paul Stanhope is one of Australia’s most evocative composers, known especially for his sumptuous choral works – shaped in part by his time as Musical Director of Sydney Chamber Choir. But this album, the first album of Stanhope’s chamber music, presents this composer’s work on a smaller, more intimate scale.
The album is defined by sensuality and yearning, a sensation encapsulated by the above line from the first of the Three Lorca Songs, ‘Song for the Moon’. These three songs are evocative settings of poems by Federico García Lorca, the famous Spanish poet, sung here with great musicianship, clarity and stylishness by soprano Jane Sheldon, one of Australia’s leading interpreters of contemporary vocal music.
The yearning continues in an arrangement of ‘Dolcissimo Uscignolo’, a madrigal about the ‘Sweetest Nightingale’ by the great Italian Renaissance composer Claudio Monteverdi, which is linked to Stanhope’s piano trio of the same name. There is yearning, too, in ‘Agnus Dei – After the Fire’, but of a different kind: this work was written in sympathy for the families of victims of the 2009 ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires in Victoria, and the sense of loss, grief and longing for peace is palpable.
Performed here with exceptional skill and sensitivity by the virtuosic performers of the UQ Chamber Players, Adam Chalabi and Patrick Murphy of the Tinalley Quartet, along with pianist Liam Viney, this album adds another chapter to the exciting story of one of Australia’s finest composers.
Paul Stanhopeis an award-winning Sydney-based composer, former Musical Director of Sydney Chamber Choir and currently an Associate Professor in Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. Previous releases on the ABC Classic label include Songs for the Shadowland – an album of song cycles for combinations of voices and instruments – and Lux Aeterna, a stunning collection of his choral works recorded with Sydney Chamber Choir, which was nominated for an Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) Award for Best Independent Classical Album in 2018.
1. Piano Trio No. 2 ‘Pulses’
2. Dolcissimo Uscignolo
3. Piano Trio No. 1 ‘Dolcissimo Uscignolo’
Three Lorca Songs:
4. I. Song for the Moon
5. II. Madrigals
6. III. Song of the Seven Maidens (Theory of the Rainbow)
7. Dawn Lament
8. Agnus Dei – After the Fire
Jane Sheldonsoprano (tks 2, 4-6)
University of Queensland Chamber Players:
All tracks composed by Paul Stanhope except track 2,
which is by Claudio Monteverdi, arranged by for soprano
and piano trio by Paul Stanhope