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War and Peace

Wednesday 14 / Thursday 15 September 2022

Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music, Acton, 7.30pm

Sam Weller Conductor
Kristian Chong Piano
Canberra Symphony Orchestra

Richard Strauss

Malcolm Williamson AO, CBE
Piano Concerto No. 2

Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, op. 55 ‘Eroica’

Adult $54–101
Concession $48–89
Under 30 $30
Student rush $15

Llewellyn Hall family packages available – call CSO Direct on 02 6262 6772 (weekdays 10am – 3pm).

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Richard Strauss conceived his Metamorphosen as a threnody for Germany’s musical culture in the wake of the Second World War. Twenty-three string soloists voice distinct lamentations that culminate in a tour de force of orchestral desolation. And yet, the title – borrowed from the poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – holds a small seed of hope for rebirth or renewal.

The final bars of Metamorphosen quote from an earlier funeral march, from Ludwig van Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’ Symphony. Originally dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte, Beethoven famously struck the inscription from the score and offered it instead ‘to the memory of a great man’: a greatness tarnished by hubris.

Great depths of idealism and disillusionment are held in the harmonic climax, as the music climbs to an astonishingly high point of tension. Beethoven had hoped that Napoleon would inspire a humanist, egalitarian Europe; with a powerful and startlingly original dissonance based on F major, the composer issues his own call to revolution, condemning greed, oppression and the lust for power.

These works of raw intensity find a peaceful counterpoint in Malcolm Williamson’s Second Piano Concerto. Composed over just eight days in 1960, Williamson described the piece as ‘an overtly Australian work aiming at spontaneity and vigour rather than profundity.’ Joyful, tuneful and exuberant, the concerto reflects the composer’s eclectic influences, from Igor Stravinsky and Béla Bartók to George Gershwin and Edward Elgar.

Part of the CSO’s 2022 Llewellyn Series

The mainstage is our epicentre, where a hundred voices move as one to delight, inspire, soothe and uplift. Join us with open hearts for the big human stories: revolution, loss, redemption and connection.

Also in this series:

Llewellyn One: Redemption (13 / 14 April 2022)
Llewellyn Two: Miracles in the Age of Reason (18 / 19 May 2022)
Llewellyn Four: Infinite Possibilities (23 / 24 November 2022)

All CSO events are delivered in line with ACT Government COVID-safe requirements. Read more