Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Xian Zhang conductor
Jack Schiller bassoon
Still Mother and Child
Matthew Laing Of Paradise Lost, Bassoon Concerto: First Movement (MSO Commission)
Tchaikovsky Sleeping Beauty Suite
About this performance
Conductor Xian Zhang makes her debut as MSO Principal Guest Conductor with William Grant Still’s moving Mother and Child alongside the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s exquisite Sleeping Beauty Suite and a brand-new commission from Cybec Young Composer In Residence, Matthew Laing.
- The composer William Grant Still was incredibly prolific and diverse – writing works for choir, opera, ballet, chamber ensembles, orchestras and soloists, and in 1943, wrote his Suite for Violin and Piano, based upon the works of “three contemporary Negro artists who I admire.” The second movement of the Suite, based on the lithograph “Mother and Child” by Sargent Johnson was orchestrated, and became the moving work we hear now.
- After the premiere of Sleeping Beauty in 1890, Tchaikovsky approached his publisher about the possibility of making “one or even two suites” from the music of the ballet. The suite was indeed written, and while the first performance sadly did not occur until after the composer’s death, it has now become a staple in the orchestral repertoire.