Australian Monody

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Australian Monody

The Marais Project

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The Marais Project is joined by international countertenor, Russell Harcourt, in a brilliant collection of largely Australian songs and instrumental works exploring light and darkness, love and loss.

The repertoire for Australian Monody spans from the greats of past eras - Henry Purcell, John Dowland, Marin Marais and colonial composer, Isaac Nathan – to works by living composers Carl Vine, Gordon Kerry, Alice Chance, and Michael Nyman.

Marais Project singer, Susie Bishop, also contributes an original song, as does ensemble leader, viola da gambist Jenny Eriksson, who composed a new final movement to a suite by Marin Marais, the group’s namesake.

The original inspiration for the album came from renowned Australian composer, Gordon Kerry. He contacted Eriksson to say he had financial support from the late Marena Manzoufas to write a piece for The Marais Project which he titled ‘Christchurch Monody,’ referring to the massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand. The ensemble already had two songs by colonial composer, Isaac Nathan, in their repertoire, including ‘The Aboriginal Mother.’ This remarkable song, a setting of a poem by Eliza Dunlop, explores the infamous 1838 Myall Creek Massacre of up to 30 First Nations’ people from the Wirraayaraay clan. Gradually the idea formed for a whole album of Australian songs, plus a sprinkling from overseas – all sung by Australians.

Track Listing

1. Precious Colours (Alice Chance)
2. Lullaby for a Broken World (Susie Bishop)
3. If (Michael Nyman)
4. Christchurch Monody (Gordon Kerry)
5. The Aboriginal Father (Isaac Nathan)
6. The Aboriginal Mother (Isaac Nathan)
7. O dive custos Auriacae domus - Elegy on the death of Queen Mary (Henry Purcell)
8. An Evening Hymn (Henry Purcell)
9-12. Suite in A minor for viola da gamba and continuo, Book V (Marin Marais)
13. Petite Tarantelle (Jennifer Eriksson)
14. Now O Now I Needs Must Part (John Dowland)
15. Love Me Sweet (Carl Vine)

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Move Records 1CD
MCD633