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Destiny & Desire

Darwin Symphony Orchestra (DSO) explores the spectrum of human emotion, showcasing two exciting Northern Territory premieres by celebrated Australian composers, Brett Dean and Rebecca Erin Smith.

By Kate Conway

Brett Dean's Siduri Dances stars DSO’s Orchestra and Operations Manager and Principal Flautist, Tania Watts, stepping out in front of the Orchestra as soloist for the first time.

“It’s almost like the flute takes charge in this piece. The flute leads the string orchestra, there are sections which are really rhythmic. It’s the flute that drives it and brings the strings along for the ride,” she says.

Ispired by the mythological goddess Siduri in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the piece starts with a haunting air of mystery before shifting to a more playful tone. Complex and virtuosic, the piece also has a softer quality reflected in glissandi – a continuous sliding upwards or downwards between two notes.

“Sometimes I can just pick up the flute and play a piece of music and it works, but this piece has got lots of extended techniques and it’s quite contemporary,” Watts says.

“Things like multiphonics, where you learn new fingerings to play two, sometime three notes at once. There are all these new techniques that aren’t in everyday classical works.”

Smith’s piece, Foreigner or Foreigner, is an expansive work that explores how it feels to be suspended between two places of belonging, while Prelude and Liebestod from the opera Tristan and Isolde offers a dramatic glimpse into the doomed lover's tale. Liebestod (love death) is the climactic end where Isolde is singing over Tristan’s dead body.

Rounding out the program on a triumphant and hopeful note, Appalachian Spring by American composer Aaron Copland is a pretty, romantic piece, that follows a young pioneer couple on their wedding day.

“There are so many beautiful melodies in this concert,” Watts says.

“Even though the Siduri Dances is quite modern and contemporary, it’s also rooted in the classical structure and with beautiful melodies that evoke lots of feelings in the listener.”

Destiny and Desire
WHEN SAT 19 AUG | 7.30PM
COST $65 | $55 CONC | $35 U30 $22 U18 | GROUPS 10+ $55

Photos: Hannah Herbert

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