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  • Sculthorpe: Second Sonata; Irkanda I; Irkanda IV; etc.
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Sculthorpe: Second Sonata; Irkanda I; Irkanda IV; etc.

1 customer review

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Product details

  • Composer: Peter Sculthorpe
  • Audio CD (14 April 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B00008WQB3
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 264,510 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

Orchestre de chambre d'Australie, dir. Richard Tognetti

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Budge Burgess on 25 April 2005
Format: Audio CD
From its minimalist, dissonant opening, a solo violin lost in an introspective, mournful soliloquy, Sculthorpe opens up timeless vistas. His work stretches notes to ring tension from them, disdaining melody or obvious coherence. The opening track, 'Irkanda I' is arthythmic, atonal, and attenuated, the violin striving for a natural feel in parodying birdsong, drawing you in to a wild landscape in a piece written in 1955. 'Irkanda', the sleeve notes explain, is an Aboriginal word for a remote, lonely place.
Sculthorpe is heavily influenced by the Australian landscape and the vast complexity of its natural world, its ancient cultures, and the threats posed to it by modern exploitation and abuses. The second track, "Irkanda IV", was written at a bleak time in Sculthorpe's life. Here, the solo violin is joined ... or perhaps bears witness to strings and percussion. Again, the feel is intense, bleak - Sculthorpe eschews any over-heavy reference to Western or European orchestral traditions, instead seeking out an identity which is both modern Australian and timeless.
His "Lament" employs the emotional tones of the cello, and this again features in "Cello Dreaming", where the didgeridoo, a keynote Sculthorpe instrument, makes brief foray. Highly introspective pieces, mournful, but not without a sense of hope. Separating them, Sculthorpe's "Second Sonata for strings" is a more driven, more dynamic piece, contrasting melodic passages with dissonance.
Sculthorpe is here grappling with a vast geography and a vast, unknown prehistory. He establishes a 'primitive' orchestration and instrumentation, stripping back his music to some very basic formats, then rebuilding from terse foundations to create a sense of emotional timelessness and homelessness. It is intense, and at times gripping, and is a far stretch from classical music which employs more romantic themes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Mark Hancock - Published on
Format: Audio CD
A book I purchased, which profiles more recent composers and some of their best pieces, mentioned Peter Sculthorpe (and Irkanda), so I bought this CD. I love it.
I love the regional flavorings that composers from different regions bring to the classical music table. Sculthorpe brings us the sound of Australia and Southeast Asia. In addition to that, his music is edgy enough to be modern, but beautiful enough to appeal to one who prefers romanticism. I like Irkanda I and Irkanda IV, and I really like Lament, but, to me, this CD really kicks into high gear on Tracks 4, 5 and 6. I love the Second Sonata for Strings, Cello Dreaming (love the beautiful theme that kicks in into the piece) and Djilile. The playing of the Australian Chamber Orchestra is tight and the sound is great. I haven't checked the Penguin Guide on Sculthorpe, but, in my view, this is a Rosette Quality CD.
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