Llewellyn Three: War and Peace

Wednesday 14th Sep - 7:30pm
Thursday 15th Sep - 7:30pm
Llewellyn Hall
Canberra Symphony Orchestra

Strauss conceived his Metamorphosen as a threnody for Germany’s musical culture in the wake of the Second World War. Twenty-three string soloists voice lamentations that culminate in a tour de force of orchestral desolation. And yet, the title – borrowed from Goethe – holds a seed of hope for renewal.

The final bars of Metamorphosen quote an earlier funeral march, from Beethoven’s ‘Eroica Symphony’. Originally dedicated to Napoleon, Beethoven famously struck the inscription from the score and offered it instead ‘to the memory of a great man.’ The climax holds great depths of idealism and disillusionment; Beethoven had hoped that Napoleon would inspire a humanist, egalitarian Europe. With a powerful and startlingly original dissonance based on F major, the composer issues his own call to revolution, condemning greed and oppression.

These works of raw intensity find a peaceful counterpoint in Malcolm Williamson’s Second Piano Concerto. Williamson described the piece as ‘an overtly Australian work aiming at spontaneity and vigour rather than profundity.’


Simon Hewett Conductor
Kristian Chong Piano
Canberra Symphony Orchestra


STRAUSS Metamorphosen


BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, op. 55 ‘Eroica’