Meale + Mendelssohn

Jean-Philippe Rameau // Orage from Platée

Richard Meale // Cantilena Pacifica

Felix Mendelssohn // Octet

  1. Allegro moderato ma con fuoco
  2. Andante
  3. Scherzo
  4. Presto

The closing night of Play On Series Three sees the Play On Collective come together in a mesmerising line up of artists who have performed with all the major orchestras in Australia, and many overseas. As chamber musicians they play with some of the country’s most respected ensembles including the Australian Piano Quartet and the Tinalley String Quartet.

Opening the program with a rare jewel by French Baroque theorist and composer Jean-Phillipe Rameau, Orage from his 1745 opera Platée, the group then turns to the expressive and poignant Cantilena Pacifica by a giant of Australian music: Richard Meale. Part of a generation of composers responsible for introducing the European musical avant-garde movement to Australia, Cantilena Pacifica (1980) is a demonstration of Meale’s later style, when he moved away from an overly complex and academic avant-garde style to write music with an immediate and deep emotional resonance. This piece was written shortly after the death of Meale’s best friend, and is an exquisite and moving homage. This piece will be led by an emerging star of the classical scene: Lily Higson-Spence. This year awarded the position of Concertmaster of the Australian Youth Orchestra, she has appeared as a soloist with orchestras around the country and was a grand finalist in the 2015 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards.

At the heart of this program is Felix Mendelssohn’s ecstatic Octet. Although Mozart is usually remembered as the original child prodigy, Mendelssohn was probably even more precocious, completing a 200-page opera at the age of 12, and this incomparable Octet at just 16. Composed in 1825, the piece soon became a cornerstone of the classical repertoire. A birthday present for a friend, the Octet is celebrated for its verve and brilliance, and shows off Mendelssohn’s signature youthful and exuberant style.


Violin // Kristian Winther

Violin // Lily Higson-Spence

Viola // James Wannan

Viola // Tom Higham

Michelle Wood // Cello

Tom Marlin // Cello