Intriguing world premiere
David Gyger, September 2010
North Shore Times
The highlight of Halcyon's concert at Carriageworks on September 13 was the world premiere of Ruth Lee Martin's Wimmera Song Cycle.
In addition to Halcyon's co-directors, soprano Alison Morgan and mezzo Jenny Duck-Chong, this intriguing work in eight evocative parts involved flautist Sally Walker, cellist Geoffrey Gartner and pianist Sally Whitwell. Particularly noteworthy was the splendid progression from the third poem from Kevin Hart's Wicked Heat, an episode in the desrt backed by fluttery flute and cello to the vocal duo, followed by a brief spoken passage. The other world premiere on the program was the revised version of Elliott Gyger's Petit Testament of 2008.
Andrew Schultz's Lowin Award-winning cycle To the Evening Star gave widely diverse settings to a varied group of poems. There was also much to admire in earlier works: Ross Edwards's Maninya I and Anne Boyd's Cycle of Love and Mary Finsterer's Sentence for Dinner.