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Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Zavod: The Environmental Symphony - Narrated by Sir Richard Branson

Music by Dr Allan Zavod | Words by Dr Alan Finkel

Narrated by Sir Richard Branson

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Northey

“…delivering such an important message in a language that is as accessible as possible is key to The Environmental Symphony’spotential to communicate with a broad audience.” – Limelight (2015)

ABC Classic presents The Environmental Symphony, an ambitious and epic work that spans five billion years, from the formation of the planet through to the devastation of our current age.

Released on United Nations World Environment Day, Wednesday June 5, The Environmental Symphony sounds a warning of what will happen if we don’t act boldly and decisively to address our climate crisis, but ends with an optimistic vision of a greener, cleaner future.

With music by the genre-bending Dr. Allan Zavod, words by Dr. Alan Finkel, narrated by Sir Richard Branson, and performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and conductor Benjamin Northey, this recording is a major international release that lends some musical muscle to the ongoing political and environmental fight against climate change. 

Known for his unique creative blend of improvised jazz and classical music, Dr. Allan Zavod wasone of Australia’s most exciting pioneers of fusion music – a pianist, composer, arranger, producer, and conductor, he broke down barriers between genres alongside international superstars such as Eric Clapton, Frank Zappa, Sting, Nigel Kennedy and many more. The Environmental Symphony was his last major work before his death in 2016.

Dr Alan Finkel, a friend and admirer of Allan Zavod’s performance and creative prowess, was honoured when Zavod asked him to provide the storyline and the libretto for The Environmental Symphony. They shared the belief that music and science could unite to provide a fresh insight into the problem of global warming. Currently Australia’s Chief Scientist and a former Chancellor of

Monash University and President of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, Finkel has had a long and successful career in industry. He has received many accolades and awards, and is passionate about science education.

Since starting youth culture magazine Student at aged 16, Sir Richard Branson has found entrepreneurial ways to drive positive change in the world. In 2004 Richard established Virgin Unite, the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group, which unites people and entrepreneurial ideas to create opportunities for a better world. Most of his time is now spent building businesses that will make a positive difference in the world and working with Virgin Unite and organisations it has incubated, such as The Elders, The Carbon War Room, The B Team and Ocean Unite. He also serves on the Global Commission on Drug Policy and supports ocean conservation with the Ocean Elders.

Australian conductor Benjamin Northey is the Chief Conductor of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the Associate Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Highly active in the performance of Australian orchestral music, Northey is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, his awards include the prestigious 2010 Melbourne Prize Outstanding Musician’s Award and the 2002 Brian Stacey Memorial Scholarship, as well as multiple awards and nominations for his numerous CD recordings with ABC Classic.

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is a leading cultural figure in the Australian arts landscape, bringing the best in orchestral music and passionate performance to a diverse audience across the nation and around the world. Each year the MSO engages with more than 5 million people through live concerts, TV, radio and online broadcasts, international and regional tours, recordings and education programs. From its home at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, to free summer concerts at Melbourne’s largest outdoor venue, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, the MSO evolves and inspires a broad range of audiences with more than 160 concerts a year.

Sir Richard Branson narrator

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Benjamin Northey conductor

Track Listing:

  • 1. I. Creation: The beginning of the world forming
  • 2. II. Industrial Revolution: When we destroyed some of this paradise with industrial revolution, with urbanisation
  • 3. III. The Calm before the Storm: Time for action. The efforts towards clean air
  • 4. IV. Global Warming, Final Warning: Carbon dioxide and global warming
  • 5. V. Preservation Sensation A more positive outlook: looking to the future
Release
The Huntington Estate Music Festival is one of the brightest stars in Australia’s musical firmament. For three decades, it has been bringing together top-flight musicians from around the country and around the world to present a breathtaking array of chamber music masterpieces, both iconic favourites and delicious new discoveries. Presented by the Huntington Estate Winery in association with Musica Viva Australia, and held in the winery’s Barrel Room, one of the most remarkable and surprising music venues in the world, the Festival is a delight to audiences and musicians alike.After 30 stellar years of exceptional music-making, however, the 2019 Festival will be the last, with Huntington Estate owners Tim and Nicky Stevens reluctantly deciding that their grapes – and their young family – must come first. To mark this significant occasion, ABC Classic is proud to delve into its broadcast archives to present this selection of some of the Festival’s most memorable performances across a typically diverse and intriguing range of repertoire: from Schubert and Dvořák to Bach’s astonishing eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann and Australian composers Ross Edwards and Ian Munro.It was Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra who began the Festival and established it as a serious contender on the world stage – and the hottest concert tickets in the country! This album includes superb three recordings from those early years: music of Mendelssohn, Brahms and Percy Grainger.In 2006, the ACO passed the baton to Musica Viva and Artistic Director Carl Vine, opening up the Festival’s artist roster to an extraordinary range of musicians, both local and international. From among the literally hundreds of thrilling performances, this album features New York-based Australian pianist Andrea Lam, Russian-Armenian clarinettist Narek Arutyunian, the rich bass-baritone of Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Vienna’s acclaimed Eggner Trio, along with regular Festival guests the Goldner String Quartet and the rising stars of the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) Chamber Orchestra.…/2The CD of this compilation is available exclusively at the Festival itself, but for all those who can’t make the trip to Mudgee, ABC Classic is releasing the full album as a digital album, for download and streaming, so that audiences all around the world can share in the celebration. TRACKLISTING  1     MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 3 ‘Scottish’: II. Vivace non troppo2     BRAHMS arr. ANGERER Chorale Prelude ‘O Gott, du frommer Gott’3     GRAINGER Blithe Bells       Australian Chamber Orchestra, Richard Tognetti director (2002 / 2004)        SCHUBERT4     An die Musik (To Music)5     Erlkönig (The Erl-King)6     Die Forelle (The Trout)7     Die Taubenpost (Pigeon Post) from Schwanengesang       Teddy Tahu Rhodes bass-baritone, Kristian Chong piano (2007)        WF BACH Sinfonia in F major ‘Dissonant’8     I. Vivace9     II. Andante10   III. Vivace11   IV. Menuetto I & II       ANAM Chamber Orchestra, Paul Wright violin / conductor (2010)      12   ROSS EDWARDS String Quartet No. 2 ‘Shekina Fantasy’:       I. Allegro moderato       Goldner String Quartet (2010)        MENDELSSOHN13   Song without Words Op. 67 No. 2 – Allegro leggiero14   Song without Words Op. 85 No. 4 – Andante sostenuto       Andrea Lam piano (2012) 15   WEBER Clarinet Quintet in B-flat major: II. Fantasia       Narek Arutyunian clarinet, Australian String Quartet (2012)        MUNRO Piano Trio No. 2 ‘Book of Lullabies’ – Excerpts16   II. Lullaby in Edo17   III. Kun Mun Kultani Tulisi18   IV. Skye Boat Song       Dimity Hall violin, Julian Smiles cello, Ian Munro piano (2013) 19   DVOŘÁK Piano Trio No. 1: II. Adagio molto e mesto       Eggner Trio (2015)