with Australian String Quartet
Australian String Quartet
Francesca Hiew (violin)
Christopher Cartlidge (viola)
Michael Dahlenburg (cello)
String Quartet no. 3 ‘Sacred Sky’
String Quartet op. 33 no. 1
The Australian String Quartet has a particular fondness for music that originates from their homeland, and one such piece that exemplifies this is Sacred Sky by Nigel Westlake. The composition was written specifically for the quartet, and it holds a special place in Westlake’s heart, as it was composed in memory of his sister. Drawing inspiration from a number of her seascape paintings that depict nameless locations on the east coast of Australia, Westlake created a work that explores the themes of nature and meditation. Similarly, Haydn also found inspiration in nature, as evidenced by his use of the sunrise and a picturesque whale in his oratorio, The Creation.
Does coincidence exist? The young composer and violinist Joseph Haydn – not yet “Papa”, but rather “puppy” Haydn – played with three random other string players for the Viennese Count Von Fürnberg. The accidental harmony was so pleasing that the count asked Haydn for more repertoire for this combination. In the works that followed, Haydn laid the foundation for the string quartet, the medium that has given us so much beautiful music. In the concert series Early Haydn, the classical beauty of Haydn’s Opus 33 is in the hands of a different quartet every morning.
Extending String Quartet: Quartet & Country