Dances of Fire
Darwin Symphony Orchestra (DSO) isn’t holding back with their season opening performance, kicking off 2023 with an exciting triple bill of works from composers Samuel Barber, Zoltán Kodály and Johannes Brahms.
By Kate Conway
Dances of Fire stars DSO Concertmaster Tara Murphy as violin soloist, performing the lyrical, dreamy and challenging Barber piece with an orchestra for the first time.
“The last movement is fiendishly difficult, it’s so fast, and I have to play 192 bars without a rest. It’s continuous moto perpetuo [perpetual motion] and then finally I get to have a rest and have a breath before I pick up the tempo again. But it’s tricky for everyone, both soloist and orchestra, that last movement,” says Murphy.
Grand, sweeping and beautiful, Dances of Galánta (Galántai Táncok) is an orchestral work by Zoltán Kodály. The classical Hungarian folk piece is inspired by the town of Galánta where Kodály lived for several years.
“When you think Dances of Fire, this is where the fire part comes in. It’s really virtuosic for everybody, particularly the violins and the clarinet,” says Murphy.
Rounding out the program is Brahms’ Second Symphony. Renowned as Brahms’ personal favourite of his four symphonies, the piece is cheery and pastoral but by no means less passionate than the other two pieces.
“It is actually quite magical writing because, even when it’s really loud, it’s always warm and always resonates together. There is a real feeling of unity and moving as one with Brahms,” says Murphy.
All three pieces equally thrilling, dramatic and virtuosic, the stunning program heralds an exciting new phase for DSO as Resident Company at Darwin Entertainment Centre. More than just a new home, Murphy says the exciting move translates into the performance.
“It’s a dream come true. The feeling of being on stage is such a feeling of reverence and we get to do that every single week, and rehearse in that space. I think it just elevates everything that we do.”
Photos: Tim Nicol Photography