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Various Artists

Ross Edwards: Frog and Star Cycle, Symphonies Nos 2 & 3 (CD)

One of Australia’s best known and most performed composers, Ross Edwards has created a distinctive sound world based on deep ecology and an awareness of the need to reconnect music with elemental forces and restore its traditional association with ritual and dance.


This new release from ABC Classic presents iconic and world premiere performances of three of Edwards’ most significant orchestral works. The Frog and Star Cycle, a concerto for saxophone and percussion, expresses themes of renewal and wholeness by transforming fragments of ancient plainsong in myriad ways to suggest the mystery, fragility and continuous evolution of life, and the interconnectedness of all things.


Symphony No. 2 "Earth Spirit Songs" evokes mysteries of growth and the primeval forces and eternal cycles of nature, bringing together sensual visionary verses by Hildegard of Bingen, poet Judith Wright’s intense and profound journey the heart of an Australian rainforest, and traditional chants for the festival of Pentecost, the Christian church’s great celebration of creativity and the sacred life force.
In Symphony No. 3 "Mater Magna", the composer celebrates the vital restorative female force in nature. A meditation on the need for social and ecological re-balancing, the music juxtaposes exuberant, earthy dance rhythms with moments of timeless contemplation.


Throughout all three works we hear abundant shapes and patterns that recall the natural world: birdsong, frog and insect rhythms and the pulsating summer drones of cicadas, presenting a distinctly Australian musical perspective on the world.


TRACK LIST

ROSS EDWARDS b. 1943

Symphony No. 2 ‘Earth Spirit Songs’
I. Invocation and Dance of the Holy Spirit
II. The Lost Man
III. Dance-Song to the Earth Mother
Recorded live in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall
on 21-22 August 1998 • World premiere performances

Yvonne Kenny soprano
Sydney Symphony Orchestra
David Zinman conductor

Symphony No. 3 ‘Mater Magna’
I. Feroce
II. Lontano e misterioso
III. Con moto

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Markus Stenz conductor

Frog and Star Cycle: Double Concerto
for Alto Saxophone, Percussion and Orchestra
I. Cosmogony
II. Consecration Dance
III. Sacred Waters
IV. Interplay I
V. To the Morning Star
VI. Interplay II
VII. Evening Star and Interplay III
VIII. Cantilena of the Moon
IX. The Cycle Renewed
X. Benediction
XI. Transcendental Dance
Recorded live in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall
on 8 July 2016 • World premiere performance season

Amy Dickson alto saxophone
Colin Currie percussion
Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Lothar Koenigs conductor