Friday, 8 August 2014

Vale Peter Sculthorpe

Today's news announced the death of the Australian composer, Peter Sculthorpe, at the age of 85. He was an extraordinary person, an excellent and versatile composer, whose contribution to Australian cmlassical music cannot be underestimated.

I am not familiar with all of his work. What I did hear was well worth it.

I met him a couple of years ago. During a visit to Canberra, I stayed witho a friend who is a chorister, and we sang in the same choir. She also sang in an excellent smaller choir. During my visit my former choir gave a concert, and the program included the Victoria Requiem, and Peter Sculthorpe's new work, a Requiem. It was a very moving work - in my view a true Requiem, in the great tradition of Western classical and religious music.

After the concert I met various friends and fellow choristers. Peter Sculthorpe was sitting with friends at a nearby  table . I wanted to tell him how wonderfu and moving his Requiem was - in my view a true Requiem. I  went over to his table, and told him so, and expressed my admiration and appreciation of his music, and added that I had been recently widowed, and that this Requiem resonated powerfully with me - which is what we want and need from such music. Peter Sculthorpe was so kind and sympathetic, and seemed glad to be told that his music reached my soul.  I was privileged to meet him and to talk to him. His work will endure and we will remember him and his music.

Requiescat in Pace.

3 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

I love that you thanked him. Too many of us are quick to complain - and much less likely to compliment.

VioletSky said...

I have just finished reading his obit in The Guardian.
I'd heard of him but am not that familiar with his work and find some of it a bit challenging. But I went to youtube to hear some pieces again. Will try to find the requiem you mention.

Shirley Harring said...

It has been a month of sad losses, and it's only halfway through. Thank you for offering a chance to sit, listen, and still awhile. So beautiful.