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Celestial Visions

Wednesday 15 September, 2021
Llewellyn Hall, ANU, 7.30pm

Jessica Cottis Conductor
Jayson Gillham Piano
Lorina Gore Soprano
Canberra Symphony Orchestra

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART Piano Concerto No. 21 ‘Elvira Madigan’
Gustav MAHLER Symphony No. 4

Adult – $59-101
Concession – $48-89
Under 30 – $30

Book two or more concerts to enjoy the benefits of a CSO subscription, including discounted ticket prices.

Seat holds for returning Llewellyn Series subscribers end COB 8 January 2021. More information

Humans have long been fascinated by the formation of our universe, its origins a compelling question for both science and faith. Cosmologists don’t know whether the Big Bang was the beginning, or merely one of many beginnings; something entirely inconceivable to our current knowledge may have preceded it. Whether approached through the lens of physics or spirituality – perhaps even both – the vastness of the cosmos has captivated generations.

For many, the night sky produces a humble appreciation of one’s smallness in an impossibly big universe. Gustav Mahler’s fourth symphony explores this sense of awe and reverence, gazing up toward heaven as seen through the eyes of a child. The work ascends gradually to an ethereal height, inspired by the poem Das himmlische Leben (‘The heavenly life’). The closing movement celebrates a liberation from earthly suffering: “No worldly tumult is to be heard in heaven. All live in greatest peace.”

Australian-Danish composer Benjamin de Murashkin’s LOGOS explores the philosophical concepts of cosmic formation and destruction. A musical take on quantum theory and the Big Bang, the work evokes the exponential expansion of a universe before its dramatic contraction into nothingness.

While perhaps no music could capture in its fullness the sublimity of the universe, Mozart’s timeless Piano Concerto No. 21 is a close contender and a powerful expression of the human experience within our vast cosmos.

Image: Kaupo Kikkas