This February, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra will undertake a major and historically significant Australian music recording project, a double CD recording of the orchestral works of the Olympic gold medal winning oarsman, noted pianist, deeply gifted composer and WW1 soldier Frederick Septimus Kelly (1881-1916), who has been described as ‘Australia’s most important cultural loss of the Great War’. This will be the first time his orchestral and large scale works will be able to be heard.
The release will feature seven world premiere recordings as well as the TSO’s recording of Kelly’s ‘Elegy for Rupert Brooke’, a piece which since its recent re-discovery has been widely acknowledged as a masterwork and performed around the world.
Four of the works were written during his war service – the ‘Elegy for Rupert Brooke’ in the trenches at Gallipoli, the two Preludes during his training in the UK and subsequent voyage to Gallipoli on the troopship Grantully Castle, and the Somme Lament which was written two weeks before his death in the Somme on Nov 13 1916.
Two other works date from the eve of war – his orchestration of his song Aghadoe dates from 1914 and his Monograph 16 was written in 1913, premiered in 1914, and revised all the way up to 1916 – his diaries record that he played it often during the war whenever he could find a piano.
The TSO recording will be conducted by Benjamin Northey and will feature Christina Wilson (soprano) and Andrew Goodwin (tenor)
The recording is produced with funding assistance of the ANZAC Centenary Arts and Culture Fund and will take place in Hobart February 4-6.