Concert 1
Sunday 30 April, 5:00 pm

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 210-218 Richardson St, Middle Park


For tickets call Astra on (03) 9326 5424 or

Feldman among East and West

The Astra Choir, soloists & instruments conducted by John McCaughey

Choral-instrumental works of Morton Feldman have been the focus of several Astra programs, towards an international CD release in 2017. Here his elemental Chorus and Instruments (1969) is placed among a panoply of works from different traditions of Western music. Feldman is joined by a rare choral work of his close associate Earle Brown, both influenced by the dynamics of contemporary painting. Choir in contrasting abstract expressionisms - Feldman's chorale-like chords set within luminous sounding instruments, Brown's bundles of voices interacting like physical objects.

Planes of sound almost physical in character are also created by Monteverdi and Max Reger and the contemporary Italian Gianandrea Pauletta, for texts on the finite nature of human experience set against larger imponderable forces. The theme is taken up in the words of the cosmologist Carl Sagan set by Australia’s Gordon Hamilton, Who are we?

Veneration as a musical moment finds an original vocal theatre with the 17th-century Abbess Chiara Cozzolani, and a searching reflection in the Australian Marguerite Boland. The old within the new likewise forms a musical path for a new work by Brisbane-based composer Paul Kopetz, to a traditional Polish text. East European sound also underlies another premiered work, Vlad Baciu’s wordless chorus inspired by a doina song from Maramures¸ in northern Romania.

Concert Head: 

Claudio Monteverdi, Hor che’l ciel e la terra (1638) choir, soloists, 2 violins, continuo
Gordon Hamilton, Who are We? (2014) 4-8 part choir
Earle Brown, Small Pieces for Large Chorus (1969) choir
Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, Mass (1642), soloists, choir, strings and continuo
Vlad-Razvan Baciu, Duceți-vă, rândunele (2016) 6-part choir - 1st performance
Gianandrea Pauletta, Preludio secondo (2016) 8-part double-choir
Paul Kopetz, Matko Boska (2015) 4-part choir with soloists - 1st performance
Morton Feldman, Chorus and Instruments (1969) choir and instrumental ensemble
Marguerite Boland, Ave Maria! (2015), 10-part choir
Max Reger, O Tod, wie bitter bist du Op.110 No.3 (1912) 5-8 part choir

Concert Support: 

The Astra Choir with soloists and instrumental ensemble
conducted by John McCaughey