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MET#5 2023 – Scheherezade Punch


Conductor – Sarah-Grace Williams

Soloist – Bev Kennedy (Organ)

Marrickville Town Hall

Sunday November 12th, 3:30pm

** There will be an interval of approximately 20 minutes after the world premiere. **

Acknowledgment Of Country

The Metropolitan Orchestra acknowledges the traditional Aboriginal custodians of the land.

We acknowledge this is a country of which the members and elders of the local Aboriginal communities have been custodians for many centuries, and on which these people have performed age-old ceremonies.

The Metropolitan Orchestra acknowledges and pays our respects to the Gadigal and Wangal peoples of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of this land, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

Our Program For This Afternoon:

Vaughan Williams, Ralph (1872-1958)          Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

An avid admirer of English sacred music from the Renaissance, Vaughan Williams composed this work for the Gloucester Festival of 1910. In the early years of the 20th century, ‘modern’ English composers took an increased interest in reviving works of early English masters such as Purcell, Byrd Tallis and Morley. The theme of Tallis upon which this work is based is taken from hymn no. 92 in The English Hymnal, which Vaughan Williams was commissioned to re-write in 1904-06. There were 2 themes of Tallis’ that were of particular interest to Vaughan Williams, the first of these now known as the ‘Tallis canon’, and the second of these being in the Phrygian mode which he used for Addison’s hymn ‘When, rising from the bed of death’, as well as the setting for the fantasia that is being performed here.

This work was composed when Vaughan Williams was aged 38, and in imitating the ancient string only setting of Tallis’ compositions (usually viol consort), it is written for double string orchestra and string quartet, making obvious reference to the antiphonal texture that played such a large part of late renaissance English music.

The theme is first heard in the celli and basses with a delicate and haunting pizzicato, then is developed by the double string orchestras in the aforementioned antiphonal manner. Weaving through, and riding on top of this harmonic setting is the string quartet playing in the manner of another late renaissance style, the madrigal. The middle of the work sees the quartet playing alone, with increasingly interesting variations on the theme, and after a passionate climax, the work fades away in the distance to a haunting pppp.

© Andrew Doyle, 2023

Coyle, Jim Punch – A Dance for Theatre Organ and Orchestra *World Premiere
  1. i Fake Reel
  2. ii Real Fake
  3. iii Sneak Peek
  4. iv Peak Sneak
  5. v Band Camp
  6. vi Camp Band

Punch (n)

  1. 1. Great energy or forcefulness. 
  2. 2. A festive drink made of numerous, often eclectic ingredients. 
  3. 3. A fictional character, given to mayhem and anarchy. 

Punch, uniquely, is an original work for theatre organ and full orchestra. It is in six movements, many of which are inspired by dance styles. The first and last are substantial pieces, a reel and a polka respectively. The four inner movements are miniatures in contrasting moods. Throughout the work there is a spirit of mischief and good-humoured exuberance.

Works by famous composers make an appearance in Punch; some as invited guests, some as hostages. Watch out in the finale for a percussion instrument known as the lagerphone or monkey stick making its first, and possibly last, appearance in a symphony orchestra.

Jim Coyle lectures at Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He is well known as a music educator as well as a composer, and is regarded as one of the tribal elders among Sydney’s music teachers. He continues to enjoy a close musical association with The Metropolitan Orchestra.

© Jim Coyle, 2023

Special thanks to the Theatre Organ Society of Australia (TOSA) who meticulously maintain the wonderful Wurlitzer Organ that resides at Marrickville Town Hall. Without their dedication and passion, this performance would not have been possible today. For more information, click here to visit the TOSA website.


Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai (1844 – 1908)Scheherazade, Symphonic Suite, Op. 35

As a strong nationalist and supporter of the music of his Russian colleagues, Rimsky-Korsakov felt
obliged to re-orchestrate, and even finish incomplete works, including Borodin’s opera Prince Igor. He
completed this work during the winter of 1887-88 with the aid of Glazunov, and the exotic Asian
flavours stayed with Rimsky-Korsakov until the summer of 1888. A summer vacation provided the
perfect inspiration for him to begin work on a new orchestral work based on tales from the Arabian
Nights’ Entertainments.

Completed in just six weeks, Scheherezade includes an introduction in the score from Rimsky-Korsakov
that reads:
The Sultan Shahriar, convinced of the duplicity and infidelity of all women, vowed to slay each of his
wives after the first night. The Sultana Scheherazade, however, saved her life by the expedient of
recounting to the Sultan a succession of tales over a period of one thousand one nights. Overcome by
curiosity, the monarch postponed the execution of his wife from day to day, and ended by renouncing his
sanguinary resolution altogether. Many were the marvels recounted to Shahriar by Scheherazade. For
the telling of these things she drew from the verses of the poets and the words of folk songs and tales,
connecting her stories one with the other.
Despite initially having titles to the each movement, ‘The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship’, ‘The Kalendar Prince’s
Narrative’, ‘The Young Prince and the Young Princess’ and the combined tales of ‘The Festival at
Baghdad/The Sea/The Ship Goes to Pieces on a Rock Surmounted by a Bronze Warrior’ that were meant
to guide the audience through the work, Rimsky-Korsakov withdrew these titles and:
…. Meant these hints to direct but slightly the listener’s fancy on the path which my own fancy
had travelled, and to leave more minute and particular conceptions to the will and mood of the
individual listener. All I had desired was that the hearer, if he liked my piece as symphonic music, should
carry away the impression that it is beyond doubt an Oriental narrative of some numerous and varied
fairy-tale wonders and not merely four pieces played one after the other ….

© Andrew Doyle, 2023

Our Artists For This Performance:

The Metropolitan Orchestra – Click Here To Read TMO’s Biography.

Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams. Click Here To Read Sarah-Grace’s Bio.

This Evening’s Soloist : Bev Kennedy

The Musicians Of The Metropolitan Orchestra On Stage Are:

Concertmaster ^Victoria Jacono-Gilmovich

First Violin: *Dominique Guerbois, Caroline Kelly, Elena Tabolkina, Amanda Scott, Denisa Smeu-Kirileanu, Dominic Meagher, Jonathan Karanikas, Justin Li

Second Violin: *Catrina Hughes, Sarah Anthony, Christina Mills, Jennifer Mee, Isabel Tzorbatzaki, Clare Fulton, Kimberley Santos, Joshua Kok, Amanda Hoh, Claudia Seibold, Celine StGeorge

Viola: *Robyn Botha, Monique Turner, Janet Silverton, Kirsten James, Niamh Armstrong, Haemi Lee, Liz D’Olier, Dawid Botha, Nicola Elsworth

Cello: *Ezmi Pepper, Emily Cavey, Julienne Guerbois, Sally Schinckel-Brown, Catherine Upex, George Yang, Lily Innis, Lye Lin Ho

Bass: *Mark Szeto, *Jeremy Fox, #Jessica Holmes, Carol Jeon

Flute: #Amelia Antcliff, Merryl Neille, Jacinta Mikus

Oboe: #Noah Rudd, Katya Amadita

Clarinet: #Alisha Coward, Rob Mackay

Bassoon: #Peta Goh, Joshua Reynolds

French Horn: #Neil O’Donnell, Julia Zeltzer, Bridget Darby, Robert Stonestreet

Trumpet: *Chris Moran, Sergio Barca

Trombone: *Gareth Lewis, Mark Brown, Arthur Johnson

Tuba: *James Barrow

Timpani: *Murray Parker

Percussion: Chiron Meller, Anita Cook, Joshua Hill, Helen Parker, Kaylie Dunstan

Harp: #Esther Lukins

^ Concert Master

* Principal

# Acting Principal

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