Carl Vine’s new clarinet quintet Concord premiered on 2 July in Newcastle, NSW, followed by a subsequent performance in Sydney on 5 July, from Omega Ensemble. The 16-minute piece was commissioned by Omega Ensemble and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, with the generous support of Geoff Stearn and Kathie Grinberg.
Vine's quintet is a bold and virtuosic work, bursting with rhythmic tumult and ferocious drive. Its title is taken from the Latin concordia: con – ‘together’ and cor, cord – ‘heart’. The piece reflects Vine’s pessimism about a range of contemporary issues and realities, but also reflects his optimism about music’s capacity to allow individuals to act in concert. It is cast one continuous movement but alternates more brilliant and animated sections, full of rhytmic games, with tender and lyrical passages for clarinet, before closing explosively.
“Music”, Vine wrote in Limelight magazine about Concord, “does have great power, especially to remind us of the value of sharing and collaborative effort, of the overwhelming commonalities in our dreams and experiences, and of the things that unite rather than divide us.” The piece concentrates “on notions of symmetry and consonance…to remind its listeners of the most positive achievements of our species.”
The commission from Omega Ensemble developed from Vine’s work mentoring on their composer accelerator programme CoLAB in 2021, which cultivates emerging compositional talent. The artistic director of Omega and clarinet virtuoso David Rowden then approached Vine about writing a clarinet quintet.
June saw the release of a new orchestral portrait disc from ABC classics, conducted by Andrew Davis, featuring his latest symphonic work The Enchanted Loom, as well as his Concerto for Orchestra (2014) and 2002 orchestral fanfare V. His new concerto Zofomorphosis for the ZOFO piano duet premieres at the Grant Park Music Festival, Chicago on 17 August, conducted by Carlos Kalmar.