Romantic and Revolutionary: Turner in Music

The Australian String Quartet and Stephen Whittington, piano
Saturday May 11 at 2.30pm

Following their acclaimed performance in 2012 in association with the Fred Williams Retrospective, the Australian String Quartet and pianist-composer Stephen Whittington collaborate again to explore themes in the work of the great British painter J.M.W. Turner through a unique program of music.

The program includes the premiere of a new work for string quartet and piano by Stephen Whittington, ‘The Fallacies of Hope,’ in the form of a Barcarolle, or Venetian gondola song. The title comes from a poem of the same name written by Turner (never finished, or now mostly lost), quotes from which he attached to several of his paintings.

The Australian String Quartet will play the ‘Sunrise’ Quartet by Haydn (a composer much loved in England) – complementing the marvelous effects of light captured by Turner.

Also on the program: a nocturne by John Field, the originator of ‘Romantic vagueness’ in music as Turner was in painting, a Venetian Gondola Song by Mendelssohn – another composer much loved in England; a work by Liszt (‘Valley of Obermann’) from his ‘Years of Pilgrimage’, a musical diary of his own ‘Grand Tour’ and a powerful musical evocation of the Romantic Sublime; and exquisite miniatures (Nocturnes and a Barcarolle) by contemporary English composer Howard Skempton.

Hear Stephen Whittington playing ‘Fallacy of Hope’ at the Art Gallery of South Australia

Radford Auditorium, Art Gallery of South Australia


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