Rhythm Ross Edwards: Frog and star cycles of change
Amy Dickson, saxophone; Colin Currie, percussion
Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
David Zinman, Markus Stenz, Lothar Koenigs, conductors.
ABC Classic ABCL001
Written by James Nightingale
On this new recording, Ross Edwards’ Symphony no 2 joins Symphonies 1, 3 and 4 in the public sphere. Alongside this long-awaited release is his most recent orchestral work, the concerto for saxophone and percussion, Frog and star cycle, and a re-release of his Symphony no 3. The Symphony no 2, Earth spirit songs, though quite short in duration in symphonic terms, is reminiscent of the movements of Mahler’s symphonies with a solo voice leading the musical drama. The voice is that of Yvonne Kenny, for whom the piece was composed, and the texts range from Hildegard of Bingen to Judith Wright.
The longest work on the disc is the double concerto, Frog and star cycle, composed for London-based soloists, percussionist Colin Currie and Australian saxophonist, Amy Dickson. Their skills perfectly evoke Edwards’ famous Maninya and chant styles of writing, both using delicacy and rhythmic energy to fully bring to life Edwards’ vision of harmony between earth and heaven.