The Australian Symphony from Federation to 1960
The symphony retained its primacy as the most prestigious large-scale orchestral form throughout the first half of the twentieth century, particularly in Britain, Russia and the United States. Likewise, Australian composers produced a steady stream of symphonies throughout the period from Federation (1901) through to the end of the 1950s. Stylistically, these works ranged from essays in late nineteenth-century romanticism, twentieth-century nationalism, neo-classicism and near-atonality. Australian symphonies were most prolific during the 1950s, with 36 local entries in the 1951 Commonwealth Jubilee Symphony competition. This extensive repertoire was overshadowed by the emergence of a new generation of composers and critics during the 1960s who tended to regard older Australian music as old-fashioned and derivative. The Australian Symphony from Federation to 1960 is the first study of this neglected genre and has four aims: firstly, to show the development of symphonic composition in Australia from Federation to 1960; secondly, to highlight the achievement of the main composers who wrote symphonies; thirdly, to advocate the restoration and revival of this repertory; and, lastly, to take a step towards a recasting of the narrative of Australian concert music from Federation to the present. In particular, symphonies by Marshall-Hall, Hart, Bainton, Hughes, Le Gallienne and Morgan emerge as works of particular note.
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Nationalist Symphonies of the 1950s
NeoClassic and Progressive Symphonies of the 1950s
Australian Expatriate Symphonies
The 1960s and Conclusions
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Aboriginal accessed Adelaide Alfred Hill Arthur Benjamin Australian composers Australian Music Centre Australian symphonies bars bass Bernard Heinze brass Brewster-Jones Brisbane Charles Moses chorale chords clarinet Clifford climax Clive Douglas coda Competition composer’s composition concert conductor Conservatorium counterpoint dissonant Dorian Le Gallienne Douglas’s Edgar Bainton Eugene Goossens Example figures finale full orchestra full score Gallienne Goossens harmony Hart Hill’s horns Hughes’s Ibid idea idiom John Antill Library of Australia major Malcolm Williamson Margaret Sutherland Marshall-Hall melody minor motive Namatjira National Library oboe orchestral music ostinato Penberthy performance period piano premiere programme note recording rhythms Robert Hughes scherzo second movement second subject group Sibelius slow introduction slow movement solo sonata SP497/1 Jubilee Composers String Quartet style subject theme Sydney Morning Herald Sydney Symphony Orchestra symphonists Symphony Australia Symphony No.1 thematic timpani triads trombones trumpet Twentieth Century University of Melbourne Vaughan Williams violin Werder woodwind