Miss Lucy Havens requests
Wirripang Wirr 110
Written by Paul Cooke
This album, subtitled ‘Music-making in the homes of early Australian settlers’, is a testament to the importance of women in the cultural and scientific life of colonial New South Wales. The raw material – the sheet music – was originally gathered by Scottish-born Lucy Havens, who migrated to Australia in 1839. The cover of the CD reproduces one of Australia’s first Christmas cards, depicting flora by Harriet Scott, one of 19th century Australia’s most prominent natural history illustrators. Both music and card are preserved in the collections of Sydney Living Museums.
The compositions include a sonata by Ignace Pleyel, whose works had been performed in concerts in Sydney from as early as 1826, as well as a selection of mostly Scottish songs and dances. The captivating music is performed by Thoroughbass, an ensemble directed by Diana Weston, who plays harpsichord and a recently restored Broadwood square piano from about 1826, and together with composer Ann Carr-Boyd, arranged the music. Other members of the group are soprano Danielle Grant, violinist Tara Hashambhoy and cellists Angus Ryan and Lucy Cormack.