After the success of his masterful setting of Patrick White, Tree of Man, Carl Vine returned to the medium of soprano and strings in another commission from the ACO; Our Sons premiered by soprano Taryn Fiebig as part of the orchestra’s ‘Reflections On Gallipoli’ national concert tour in March. The new work includes a setting of the moving words of Turkish General Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a tribute to fallen Anzac soldiers, inscribed on the memorial stone at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli.
'It ends with the words: After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well', comments Vine. 'The voice in my setting of this text embodies the spirit of bereaved Anzac mothers, trying to make sense of their atrocious loss, seeking solace in the thoughtful words of one of those responsible for the killing. But no number of words can raise the dead, no amount of kindness can heal their wounds, and there is never redemption in bloodshed. When the war is over there is little left but loss.'
‘Vine transforms this conciliatory inscription, imbuing it with devastated anguish and furious despair. Vine splits up the text, repeating certain phrases to wring every ounce of desolate meaning from their words... The effect was haunting and deeply, desperately moving.’
Limelight (Maxim Boon), 17 March 2015
‘An extended vocal work which Taryn Fiebig sang with gripping, indeed devastating intensity. After an elegiac start, the piece gives way to impassioned drama underscored by anger, a gentle section to the mothers of the fallen and an austere funereal close.’
The Sydney Morning Herald (Peter McCallum), 17 March 2015
‘While respecting its message of reconciliation, Carl Vine’s setting of Ataturk’s words in Our Sons conveyed the anguish of loss and grief with equal force, thanks to Fiebig and the ACO’s expressive performance.’
The Australian (Murray Black), 17 March 2015
‘Vine’s Our Sons sets the tone for the concert: one of a shared humanity rather than conquering heroes.’
Spectrum (Kathy Evans), 21 March 2015
More details about the ACO's Reflections On Gallipoli tour can be found here