'Memento Mori' reviews

‘It is a piece imbued with a religious aura, rooted in a particular landscape - barren, mysterious Easter Island, with its enormous, brooding, enigmatic statues.  And it is full of tunes, most notably the ancient plainchant Dies irae, which has been used by many classical composers but seldom with the blend of reverence and coloristic effectiveness Sculthorpe has achieved … It was marvelously effective music, innovative in sound but listener-friendly.
Washington Post (USA) (Joseph McLellan), 14 October 1994

‘… one of his most immediately appealing scores. Despite its sombre title it does not dwell on sorrows but seems rather to rise above them.  The work was inspired by a visit to Easter Island, famous for its great stone heads, monuments that can be seen as both an example of the indomitable nature of the human spirit and as part of its great folly - for their making and transportation deforested and impoverished the island. Sculthorpe’s music reflects this dichotomy; it begins darkly, in the manner of his earlier work Mangrove, but it progresses steadily to a much warmer and richer sound palette.  There are some hauntingly beautiful melodies and striking tonal contrasts.  Some play is made of the plainchant Dies irae but this is not overdone and the whole thing ends on a note of quiet resolution that's absolutely right.’
The Australian (Australia) (Laurie Strachan), 22 October 1993

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